An Abbeyleix man who was arrested following a drunken disturbance in a Portlaoise hospital subsequently assaulted a garda while in custody by kneeing him twice in the groin.
Defence solicitor Mr Declan Breen said that Sean Fennelly, of Blackhill, Abbeyleix, was so delusional on the day due to his alcohol intake that he wanted the garda to assault him and believed the best way to achieve this was by assaulting the garda first.
The district court heard from Inspector Aidan Farrelly that Fennelly was in a very drunken state and had a bottle of vodka with him at the Day Care Centre at St Fintan’s Hospital, Portlaoise, on July 18 last year.
After being arrested and brought to Portlaoise Garda Station he assaulted a garda twice by kneeing him in the groin. He continued to be violent at the station and had to be restrained.
“He was in the throes of a very acute addiction to drink and drugs,” said Mr Breen, explaining that on the day Fennelly had mistaken the time he was due to begin his work shift and rather than return home he went drinking, getting completely intoxicated. He met someone who had an appointment in the hospital and he went with them, becoming a complete nuisance to staff.
Mr Breen said Fennelly was appalled at his behaviour in the garda station.
“He was extremely drunk and delusional. In his head he wanted the gardaí to assault him and he thought this was the best way,” said Mr Breen.
Defence concluded by saying that Fennelly had so far been unable to sort out compensation.
“I give my father €50 a week out of my social welfare. It’s hard to save, Judge,” said Fennelly.
“This was a very serious assault and drink is absolutely no excuse,” declared Judge Catherine Staines. “You should be going to prison today.”
The judge ruled, however, that due to his guilty plea, no previous convictions for assault, and the fact he was making an effort to deal with his drinking, she would put the matter back to June 26 for a probation and community service report.
Fennelly was also told to save up €500 compensation.
“You’ll have no social life for the next two months,” said Judge Staines.