There were amusing scenes at Mullingar District Court when a highly drunk man appeared before Judge John Neilan.
Michael Smith of Cedar House, O’Connell St, Dublin was not happy at being in court for what he described as “hypothetical crimes,” and he grumbled and shouted as solicitor Robert Marren attempted to represent him.
“Me auld friend, what am I doing here?” he asked Judge Neilan, waving his arms. “I’ve done nothing.”
“Do you believe these hypocrites?” he asked, gesturing to gardaí. “I’m charged with drinking too much.”
There were also 15 bench warrants out for his arrest.
“Bench warrants on my grandmother’s grave,” he replied.
“I’m struggling with drinking me own money,” he slurred indignantly. “What have I done - an old man like me? Give me a f***ing break.”
Speaking of the judge he giggled and said “That’s Judge Neilan. I know him. He done me a few times.”
He then addressed the court. “I thought you were retiring. I swear to God – having the whiskeys for Christmas.”
“Mr Neilan, I done nothing,” he went on. “It’s only Micky Mouse stuff. The inspector is bringing me in here, wasting the court’s time. Where’s this case going – public order?“
He criticised Inspector Keyes for “taking the judge away from his Christmas recess”.
“Inspector, with respect to you, you’re a disgrace to your country. I know Mr Neilan well, he’s a good friend of mine, he knows me,” he rambled.
“I thought you’d retired,” he said to the judge. “How are all in Longford?”
“All well,” replied the judge, good humouredly.
“I thought you’d be Lord Mayor by now. You’re not the worst of them. I’ve met worse than you,” he said. “Are you letting me out?”
“You’re going to have bed and breakfast until Tuesday morning, then they’ll possibly let you out,” said the judge, who remanded him in custody on the 15 bench warrants to another court.
The charge of being drunk was, in the circumstances, marked proven.
“I don’t think it would be Christmas without a man like that,” said a smiling judge, who added that he had an affection for “these knights of the road”.
“He’s not a bad skin.”