Sleepy drunk to avoid conviction for racial abuse

A man who shouted racial abuse and threatened to kill the staff of a fast food outlet was given until March to come up with €300 compensation “as a gesture of goodwill” for his victims.

Before the court was Patrick McGawley (44 ), now living at Batchelor’s Walk, Dundalk, Co Louth, but formerly of Pearse Court, Pearse Street, Athlone.

Inspector Aidan Minnock told how McGawley had entered the Kebab House on Pearse Street at around 5.10pm on August 10, 2011: “shouting racial abuse... and threatening to shoot them”.

When his case was first called, McGawley - who was appearing from custody after being arrested by appointment - nodded off in the dock, prompting Judge Seamus Hughes to have him awoken and enquire why.

“When was the last time you consued alcoholic liquor?” asked the judge.

“This morning, just for the cure,” said the defendant.

“You look like a man who had a lot more. You were falling asleep in court,” said the judge.

“I want to get this over and done with. I was acting the goat in town,” said McGawley.

“What prompted this?” asked the judge.

“It was an ongoing thing,” said his solicitor Mr Owen Carty.

He explained how McGawley was a neighbour of the victim in Pearse Court and had “exchanged words with him” on a previous occasion after he allegedly caught his neighbour disposing of waste oil down a gully at the back of the apartments.

Mr Carty explained how his client had been intoxicated at the time, and was separated from his wife because of alcohol.

McGawley apologised for his actions, and the judge asked him if he would be able to come up with €300 in three weeks.

“To be honest, no,” admitted the defendant.

“You’re not a bad fellow, but you have a serious drink problem,” said the judge before putting the date back to March 6.

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