A PORTARLINGTON woman who refused to stop shouting drunken abuse in the street in the early hours of the morning and then ran into the side of a garda car in an attempt to get at another woman has been put on probation.
Terry Maher, with an address at 3 The Wilton, Portarlington, was charged with being intoxicated in a public place, using threatening or abusive behaviour, and failure to comply with the gardaí, at Main Street, Portarlington, on June 4 this year.
Inspector Tom Finnerty gave evidence that the defendant was observed in a very intoxicated state at 3.10am.
She was shouting obscenities at members of the public and was directed twice by gardaí to leave the scene, but she continued to be aggressive.
The inspector said that Maher then ran into the side of a patrol car, before she struck a member of the public.
The court heard that she has 69 previous convictions, mostly public order offences.
Defence for Maher was Mr Declan Breen.
Mr Breen admitted that his client was very well known to the courts.
“She has deep rooted and long-standing issues that cut very deeply and haven’t been addressed,” he said, adding that the probation services were well aware of Maher’s history.
Ms Ann Walsh, probation officer, informed Judge Catherine Staines that Maher has always complied with the probation services.
Mr Breen said that Maher had turned to drink as a solution to her problems, but now the solution had become a problem in itself.
He said that his client’s “litany of previous convictions” centred around alcohol and her attitude toward the gardaí, but she has now curtailed her drinking and her attitude is improved.
In relation to the offence, Mr Breen said that on the night in question Maher had experienced a minor issue with another woman in a night club. After the club was over the other woman went out to the car park and allegedly assaulted Maher, before a man got involved and pushed Maher to the ground.
Mr Breen said that Maher then became “enraged” and got up to have another go at the other woman. It was in an effort to get at the woman that led Maher to run into the side of the patrol car.
“The car was in her way and she was trying to get at the other woman,” he said.
Mr Breen concluded by saying: “She needs help for these very real and serious issues.”
Judge Staines ordered an up to date probation report before final sentencing and told Maher to abstain from alcohol.
“If you’re seen drinking in Portarlington you’ll serve three months,” the judge warned her.
Judge Staines initially put the matter back to September 20, but Mr Breen informed her his client would not be available on that date as she is going on holiday to Lanzarote.
Judge Staines then withdrew Maher’s free legal aid, telling her: “If you can afford to go on holiday, you can pay Mr Breen.”
The matter was put back to October 11.