A Clare man who has clocked up 72 previous convictions mainly for public order offences will now be serving an extra two months in jail for being abusive and causing havoc at the busy A&E department at University Hospital Galway.
Judge Mary Fahy said she could not overlook the fact that Jamie Clune had entered an busy emergency department where staff are often under duress and had started shouting and being abusive. She also reprimanded the 33-year-old defendant for causing similar trouble at the Fairgreen Hostel where staff work extremely hard to help others.
Clune with an address at 4 Bridge View, Roslevan, Ennis, Clare, appeared at Galway District Court on Monday charged with being intoxicated in a public place, threatening and abusive behaviour at Fairgreen Hostel, and with being intoxicated in a public place at Shop Street on November 13, 2010. He was further charged with being intoxiated in a public place and threatening and abusive behaviour at the A&E department, UHG, on November 14, 2010.
Inspector Sean Glynn told the court that on November 13 at 4.45am gardai received a call to go to the Fairgreen Hostel where the defendant had been refused admission. Gardai found Clune to be extremely intoxicated and he was roaring and shouting. When told of his behaviour Clune roared at gardai: “If you want abuse I will give you plenty.” At 11.40am that same day, Clune was found to be in an extremely intoxicated state in Shop Street and was arrested as he was a danger to himself and to others.
The following day there were reports of a disturbance at the emergency department at UHG. When gardai arrived at the scene they found that the defendant was roaring and shouting, and was also issuing threats. Inspector Glynn added that there were a lot of people in the vicinity at the time.
Defence solicitor Sean Acton said that his client, a native of Clare, has had enormous difficulties with addiction to prescribed medication and with alcohol abuse. He added that Clune was currently in custody serving a sentence and is due for release in March.
Inspector Glynn further explained that a four-month sentence had been imposed for a number of public order offences and for failing to appear in court. He added that Clune has 72 previous convictions in total.
Mr Acton then said that Clune had been at the hospital for legitimate reasons as he had been knocked down but that he went outside for a cigarette and then got involved in a row.
For the threatening and abusive behaviour at A&E Judge Fahy imposed a two-month sentence to run consecutively to the sentence already being served. A two-month concurrent sentence was imposed for the second count of threatening and abusive behaviour while a fine of €200 was imposed for one count of being intoxicated in a public place.