An ex-chef, who displayed a remarkable fondness for takeaways despite losing his sense of taste and smell, was fined at Galway District Court this week for being a danger to traffic and throwing a pizza all over a taxi driver.
Mark O’Neill (37 ) with an address given as Apartment 2, 4 Headford Road, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday charged with being intoxicated in a public place and with being intoxicated and a source of danger to himself and to traffic.
Inspector Michael Coppinger told the court that on December 3, 2009, at 12.55am Garda Laurence Duggan saw the defendant walking in the middle of Mary Street towards Eglinton Street with a takeaway in the hands. The court heard that cars were unable to get by and that O’Neill walked into the back of a moving car, breaking its arial. He then walked into the direction of another car. Garda Duggan had to intervene to stop O’Neill being knocked down.
The inspector further explained that on February 24, 2006, O’Neill got a taxi from Corrib Park to Prospect Hill and that he had a pizza with him.
“He is very fond of takeaways,” quipped Judge Fahy.
“The trip didn’t go well”, replied Inspector Coppinger who added that O’Neill threw the pizza over the driver.
Defence solicitor Valerie Corcoran then asked Judge Fahy to be as lenient as possible. She said that her client had been employed as a chef but lost his job because he “lost his sense of smell and taste” as a result of an accident.
The inspector told the court that the defendant has one previous conviction for a similar offence.
Judge Fahy commented that walking in front of traffic is the more serious issue from a health and safety point of view. “It’s very frightening for drivers in a busy city to encounter someone who is so drunk he is in danger,” she said after convicting and fining O’Neill a total of €400 with three months to pay.