Man called gardai ‘scumbags’ after ‘falling off wagon’

Mike Dwane

Reporter:

Mike Dwane

A MAN who “fell off the wagon” on the occasion of his friend’s anniversary ended up being arrested after abusing gardai, Limerick District Court has heard.

A MAN who “fell off the wagon” on the occasion of his friend’s anniversary ended up being arrested after abusing gardai, Limerick District Court has heard.

Inspector Brendan McDonagh said gardai on patrol on Upper Carey’s Road at around 7.50pm on January 21 last had observed Jason Houlihan verbally abusing a woman.

Mr Houlihan, 41, of Sycamore Avenue, Rathbane, had at first given a false name to gardai, told them to “f**k off” and branded them “scumbags” before running off in front of oncoming traffic. Mr Houlihan, who pleaded guilty to public order offences, had also resisted arrest, Insp McDonagh said.

The accused had eight previous convictions but the most recent dated back as far as 1988. His solicitor Ted McCarthy told Judge Eugene O’Kelly that Mr Houilhan had in the past had alcohol problems but had been “on the dry now for a number of years”.

“The night was the first anniversary of the tragic death of his best friend. He met with others to commemorate their friend and unfortunately he took a drink. He knows better than anybody that he can’t have one drink without going on and on,” Mr McCarthy said.

While he could not recall the evening’s events, he accepted the Garda version of events and had gone to the garda station after sobering up the following morning in order to apologise, Mr McCarthy said.

Judge O’Kelly observed that Mr Houlihan’s behaviour “did nothing to honour the memory of his dead friend”.

But he added that it had been “25 years since he has had a conviction”, a period over which he had successfully battled his addiction.

“I’m not going to penalise him for falling off the wagon once,” Judge O’Kelly said, adjourning the case to July 10.