Homeless alcoholic jailed for four months for causing nuisance

A homeless alcoholic who had refused to move on after causing a nuisance at a number of premises in the city was jailed for four months when he appeared at Galway District Court this week.

John Flynn (46 ) with an address given as Fairgreen Hostel appeared before Judge Mary Fahy last Monday and pleaded guilty to being intoxicated in a public place and failing to obey the orders of a garda at Debenhams, Eyre Street, on November 12, 2008. He was also charged with being intoxicated in a public place and with threatening and abusive behaviour at Fairgreen Bus Station on November 6, 2008, and at Forster Street on November 26, 2008, as well as failing to appear at a court sitting on November 24, 2008.

Inspector Mick Coppinger told the court that on November 6 at Fairgreen Bus Station the defendant was found asleep and refused to leave the area. Six days later security staff at Debenhams approached the defendant and asked him to leave but he refused to comply. On November 26 at 9.10pm the defendant was shouting at passers-by in Forster Street. He then went into the door of Subway and refused to leave. Inspector Coppinger said that the defendant had 17 previous convictions, all for public order matters.

Defence solicitor Adrian MacLynn said that “it’s quite obvious my client has a drink problem”. He said that it was important to note that there had been “no violence” perpetrated by Flynn in any of these incidents. Mr MacLynn added that Flynn was originally from Kerry and had once worked in a hotel. He asked Judge Fahy to be as lenient as possible.

“He has a lot of previous convictions,” said Judge Fahy who then added that although the defendant had a “serious addiction to alcohol” he posed “no threat”. However, Judge Fahy said that the defendant should have moved on when told to do so. Flynn received a total of four months in jail and was ordered to pay a fine of €100 forthwith.

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