Man with drink problem given chance to rehabilitate

A Connemara man who developed a serious alcohol addiction when be started to work with fishermen at the age of 15, appeared before Galway District Court this week charged with a number of drink-related offences.

Ciaran McDonnell, 17 Barr na gCurrach, Furbo, who is now 27, pleaded guilty to three counts of being drunk and a danger to himself and others on two separate dates in Galway city in April, to breaching the peace by being abusive to gardai while intoxicated on another date and to stealing a bottle of wine from Marks & Spencer on yet another occasion.

Inspector Sean Glynn said three of the offences occurred on April 1. He said McDonnell was captured leaving Marks & Spencer with a bottle of wine which he had not paid for He was later arrested in a highly intoxicated state at High Street. He was processed and released but a short time later he became abusive to staff at the Spar store in Mainguard Street and was arrested a short time later again at High Street in a highly intoxicated state.

Three days later, on April 4, McDonnell was found lying in the middle of Shop Street and was very abusive and intoxicated when gardai tried to wake him up.

Then on April 18, Gardai received a number of complaints of people drinking at William Street and they found McDonnell extremely intoxicated on that occasion also.

Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran said her client had started fishing at 15 and was mixing from an early age with people who drank heavily. He soon developed a drink problem, she said, and was only now getting help for his addiction.

She said these offences were a “wake-up” call for her client and he had just completed a residential treatment course at Cuain Mhuire.

McDonnell said he was not drinking at present and hoped to move to Castlebar to live with his father and make a new start.

Judge Mary Fahy said she would give him a chance to do just that and she adjourned all charges before the court to December 8 next for a Garda behaviour report.

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