Judge threatens to start banning drunks from Limerick pubs

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Reporter:

Gerard Fitzgibbon

Judge Mary Larkin
A JUDGE has warned repeat offenders for drunk and disorderly behaviour that she intends to start banning them from their local pubs.

A JUDGE has warned repeat offenders for drunk and disorderly behaviour that she intends to start banning them from their local pubs.

Judge Mary Larkin issued the stark warning at Newcastle West Court after stating her belief that fines for public order offences “don’t seem to be having the appropriate effect”.

After hearing evidence in the case of a Croom man who was so drunk that he injured himself and required ambulance treatment, the judge said that drink-related offences “are taking place with alarming regularity” in county Limerick.

Under the Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act of 2003, judges have the power to ban people from entering licensed premises if convicted of offences such as being intoxicated in public, using threatening and abusive behaviour, or failing to obey the directions of a garda.

The act allows courts to ban people from specific licensed premises for up to one year, and if the do not obey the exclusion order they could face a conviction and up to three months in prison.

The judge made her comments as she heard evidence in the case of Frank O’Shea, of Kylefea, Croom, who pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in public in the village on June 3 last year.

Insp Paul Reidy told the court that at 8.40pm gardai found O’Shea drunk by a riverbank in the village. The accused had sustained “injuries due to his level of intoxication” and an ambulance had to be called to treat him. O’Shea was then deemed to be “a danger to himself” and was arrested, Insp Reidy added.

The court heard that O’Shea has a number of previous convictions, including a three-month suspended prison sentence for possession of a weapon in May 2011, and three drunk driving convictions dating back to 2003.

Solicitor Michael O’Donnell, defending, said that O’Shea is a separated father-of-four on social welfare. He said that O’Shea recently completed an alcohol rehabilitation programme at Cuan Mhuire, Bruree.

The judge fined O’Shea €75, but warned that if he comes before the court again, “I will consider an exclusion order”.