Man threw wheelchair in Limerick’s A&E after 11-hour wait

Anne Sheridan

Reporter:

Anne Sheridan

The emergency department at University Hospital Limerick
A MAN who was waiting 11 hours to be seen in the University Hospital in Limerick grew so frustrated that he picked up a wheelchair and threw it at the glass partition of the receptionist’s area.

A MAN who was waiting 11 hours to be seen in the University Hospital in Limerick grew so frustrated that he picked up a wheelchair and threw it at the glass partition of the receptionist’s area.

Jason Frayne, 23, with an address at McGarry House on Alphonsus Street, attended the A&E department and waited hours to be seen after he was pricked by a needle from someone who had just injected heroin, Limerick District Court was told.

Inspector Donal Cronin said the accused was waiting in the area for a period of time, when without provocation he caught a wheelchair and threw it at the glass partition towards the direction of staff, which he described as “bizarre, ludicrous behaviour”.

However, no damage was caused and no injuries were sustained as the glass is shatter-proof.

Solicitor John Devane told Judge Aeneas McCarthy that his client was “totally frustrated” as he had been waiting for in excess of 11 hours on Sunday, October 26 of last year.

“There was a young child next to him with two broken legs, and the mother and the child were crying. My client had asked on a number of occasions if the child could be seen to soon,” he said.

Mr Devane said his client co-operated fully with gardai and also wrote to the management of that department to apologise. He had asked to visit the hospital and apologise in person, but was deferred from doing so by gardai.

He said Frayne, who has 45 previous convictions, was “pricked by a needle by someone who had just shot up heroin in McGarry House, and he believed he was carrying numerous diseases”.

Charged on this occasion with use of threatening and abusive behaviour under the Public Order Act, he has previous convictions for intoxication, possession of drugs, and road traffic offences, including dangerous driving.

Mr Devane said it was his client’s first time staying out of trouble for a year. Judge McCarthy responded, saying he’d make him stay out of trouble for two years, and said staff in the emergency department of the hospital are busy enough without having to cope with his behaviour.

He imposed a four-month prison sentence suspended for two years on his own bond and will face a sentence if he reoffends.