Alcoholic tells court of destruction caused by addiction

Mullingar District Court heard of the destruction caused by alcohol addiction as a recovering alcoholic applied to have his driver’s licence restored.

Alcohol had been causing him trouble “all my life”, the father of one told the court.

Joseph Kennedy, who has an address at 20 Chestnut Drive, Mullingar said he lost everything including his business and was struggling to hold onto his house as the arrears increase.

He admitted that he is living with his mother because without a licence he would be “stranded” at his home in Crookedwood.

A plasterer for 14 years, he previously had five people working for him but was only able to retain his business for a year after the seven year disqualification for drink driving was imposed in 2005.

He had to turn down work because he couldn’t travel to north county Dublin and couldn’t afford to stay there and get the bus.

Since his disqualification he has completed a three month stay at Cuan Mhuire where he admitted he learned “an awful lot” and he remains in contact with his GP and attends AA meetings.

He told the court he couldn’t look “six or seven months ahead” but rather had to take each day as it comes.

Before he engaged with the residential programme he would occasionally have up to four months of sobriety but then would find himself “slipping”.

A number of other offences were committed at those times. One incident took place at RTE after he had been off drink for four months and “drank heavy on the way up.”

In response to Judge Neilan’s question “Did you try and take over the Late Late Show?” he answered “I don’t rightly remember.”

When asked by Superintendent John Gantly if he might be tempted to have a drink if he got thirsty after a hard day’s work, if he got his licence back and did get a job, he replied “I have hard days every day.”

“There is work out there,” he told the judge, but said he was unable even to price jobs because he couldn’t travel.

Granting the application made by Mr Louis Kiernan on Mr Kennedy’s behalf, he said he would restore the licence but would adjourn the criminal matters to January to assess how he is progressing.

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