Gardai should not be “nannies” for publicans' problems – judge

For the second week in a row a judge used the conviction of a public drunk to criticise publicans for continuing to serve drunk people and then “releasing” them to urinate and vomit on the streets of Athlone.

Addressing the court during the trial of Dawid Skora (25 ), of Church Hills, Coosan, who had to be arrested after being ejected in a stupor from a nightclub in the town at 12.40am on April 13, the judge went on to admit that he would not walk the streets of his home town at closing time because of this phenomenon.

On the night in question, patrolling gardai saw Skora being ejected and try to fight his way back in before they arrested him for his own safety.

“It was handy that they [door staff] could hand him over to the Gardai,” said Judge John Neilan.

“What else could they do?” asked defending solicitor, Mr Mark Cooney.

“Not serve him,” said the judge.

“Their obligation is not just to take in cash at the door. They must have sufficient stewards in place. Drunk people should be identified quickly and removed. Gardai should not be used as nannies.

“I don't know what those staff were doing. If a member of the Garda Siochana can make a decision in 10 or 15 seconds whether he's drunk, I wonder what the staff are doing?

“Lets be clear on this – I would not at this stage in my life walk up the main street of Roscommon at these hours because of the amount of drunk people urinating and vomiting on the street.

“It's the same in Athlone and Mullingar and Longford. Licencees have an obligation to society.

“I won't go up the town when they're releasing their patrons onto the street.

“Why is it RTE don't come down and film what's going on on the streets of Longford and Mullingar but they'll tell us what's going on in China?

“If the licencees think I'm going to let the gardai become nurse-nanny for them, they can think again. They'll get no exemptions from me.

“I think the average, ordinary decent people in Athlone would echo these sentiments. They're scared of the amount of drunken flesh falling about.”

Skora apologised for his behaviour through Mr Cooney but was still relieved of €200 for his trouble.

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