Man fails to carry out community service

“Take your business up to Judge Kennedy in the Circuit Court and see what he has to say about it,” said Judge Neilan as he revoked a community service order and sentenced a man to five months imprisonment.

Mullingar District Court heard that Paul McLoughlin of Knockmant, Killucan hadn’t served a single hour of a 160 hour community service order which he agreed to do in June 2007 in lieu of a five month sentence.

He told the court that he works six days a week and didn’t have time during the day. He could do something in the evenings or bank holidays, he said.

Mr McLoughlin explained that he had told the Probation Service of his situation but they said he could only do the hours from 9am to 5pm, Monday to Saturday. He told the court he is now on two weeks holidays.

He had also had some difficulties, breaking his arm twice in quick succession and being out of action for eight months and missing work for two months.

He said he had been able to work, driving machinery when he got the cast off.

Judge Neilan said the court would not tolerate “this type of arrogance”, considering Mr McLoughlin had four previous convictions for drink driving and the order of community service had probably been granted at the request of his legal representative.

He has a 15 year driving disqualification.

He said Mr McLoughlin was suggesting that his work was more important than fulfilling his legal obligation.

“Your work is more important than your freedom – that’s extraordinary,” he said adding that “the court is aware that to take away a person’s liberty for one second is a serious business.”

“I don’t understand a person like you who is given the opportunity that you totally ignore the Probation Service.”

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