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Westport man jailed for St Patrick’s Day behaviour

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A WESTPORT man was jailed for three months after he was abusive to gardaí in the middle of Westport during the St Patrick’s Day festivities.
Seán Coughlan of 1 Parnell Court, Golf Course Road, Westport, appeared before Westport District Court charged with two public-order offences for incidents that took place on March 17 this year.
Inspector Gary Walsh explained that at 1.05pm, gardaí in Westport received a complaint of youths loitering at the rear of a public house on Mill Street. When gardaí arrived, they noticed a group of young males drinking, and they asked the youths to leave.
They refused and Mr Coughlan ran in front of the patrol car and became abusive. He then ran down the street and continued to shout abuse. Later, on Bridge Street, he again ran in front of the patrol car and shouted more abuse.
Insp Walsh said that because it was St Patrick’s Day, the gardaí gave Coughlan every opportunity to leave, but he did not take his chance and so was arrested. While he has no previous convictions, Insp Walsh said Mr Coughlan was given the benefit of the Probation Act in the past. Mr Coughlan, who was not represented by a solicitor, apologised for his actions on the day.
However, Judge Mary Devins told Mr Coughlan that it was ‘people like you’ who make the job of the Gardaí incredibly difficult and who ruin St Patrick’s Day for parents with small children who wanted to enjoy the national holiday.
She said that he had been given numerous chances in the court before and had now ‘run out of road as far as I am concerned’. Judge Devins sentenced him to a total of three months’ imprisonment and also fixed recognisance in the event of an appeal.

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