'Demon drink' led to disturbance in Mass


'Demon drink' led to disturbance in Mass

A Castletown man who caused a drunken disturbance during a local Catholic mass has been ordered to engage with restorative justice.

At Portlaoise District Court, William Phelan (53), Paddock, Mountrath, was charged with drink driving, at Deerpark, Mountrath, on July 20 last; and being intoxicated, and using threatening or abusive behaviour, at Castletown, on September 22.

Sgt JJ Kirby gave evidence that the accused was detected driving with 89mg of alcohol per 100ml of breath in July.

Sgt Kirby further gave evidence, that on September 22 last, mass was going on in Castletown when the accused entered in an intoxicated state, shouting obscenities. He was restrained by members of the public.

The accused had one previous conviction for a public order offence.

Defence, Mr Barry Fitzgerald said that the accused had extreme difficulties with alcohol and was in fact intoxicated in court. He said the accused, a single man who was a farmer, needed to take matters in hand.

“The demon alcohol has had a massive negative effect on his life,” said Mr Fitzgerald.

Mr Fitzgerald also said the mass attendees had been very good at defusing the situation on the day.

For drink driving, the accused was convicted and fined €300 and disqualified from driving for three years.

On the other matter, the case was adjourned to March 5 next for a restorative justice report.