Binge drinking hurler gets suspended sentence

A GAA hurler who, when training season was finished, went on a binge drinking session only to end up in a fight with a team mate and hurling offensive abuse at a garda received a three months suspended sentence at Galway District Court this week.

Alan White (25 ) with an address at Mullagh, Gurtymadden, Loughrea, appeared before Judge Mary Fahy on Monday and pleaded guilty to threatening and abusive behaviour and failing to obey Garda orders at Cross Street, on July 23, 2011.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that at 2.45am gardai were on patrol when they observed two males in the midst of a verbal argument. White’s behaviour turned more and more threatening and when gardai tried to separate him from the other man White was extremely abusive to them. The inspector added that White was particularly abusive to the female garda, calling her offensive names.

White’s solicitor said that his client plays GAA hurling and the other person involved in the dispute was a team member and a friend.

The court then heard that White has seven previous convictions for being intoxicated and threatening and abusive behaviour in February 2010, and for obstruction, failing to obey Garda orders, threatening and abusive behaviour, offensive conduct, and being intoxicated in a public place in July 2007.

“He is not as lily white as you thought,” Judge Fahy told the solicitor who replied that the majority of the time his client does not drink due to his hurling training and committments, but then when the season is finished there is a tendency to binge drink and “that’s what happened here”.

“He was very insulting to the female guard. It’s possible that if I hear what he said, he would be travelling today,” said Judge Fahy, before convicting White and imposing a three month sentence which was then suspended for a period of 12 months on condition that he enter into a bond of €300 to be of good behaviour and to stay away from Galway city centre, except for legitimate work reasons, for that period. For threatening and abusive behaviour White was fined €300 with three months to pay.

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