03 Jul 2022

Inebriated man spat at gardai in Portlaoise

Court - Smashed garda patrol car outside Portlaoise courthouse

A man who got “completely inebriated” while travelling from Limerick to Dublin spat at gardai after being arrested for brandishing a broken bottle at Portlaoise train station.  

Michael O’Connell, 46, of 14 Oak Crescent, Gorthboy, Newcastlewest, Limerick was arrested when gardai were alerted to a man being threatening and abusive towards staff at Portlaoise train station on December 16, 2021. 

State Solicitor Donal Dunne said the defendant “spat all over the rear of the patrol car” and ‘’spat at members” when he was arrested.  He said he had 16 previous convictions for theft and fraud and road traffic matters. 

Solicitor Barry Fitzgerald said his client has medical issues and was heavily medicated and while travelling from Limerick to Dublin “he got completely inebriated on the train.” He said his client would admit that alcohol is a problem for him and he is apologetic for his behaviour. “There was an issue with alcohol and the fusion of alcohol and medication,” he remarked. 

Mr Fitzgerald told the court his client wanted to make good on the €200 bill for the cleaning which had to be carried out as a result of his arrest. 

Judge Patricia Cronin said the behaviour was “entirely unacceptable” on the date in question. She fixed bail and adjourned the case until July 7 in order that the defendant could bring €232 to pay the cleaning bill.

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