Topless man unlikely sunbather

A garda who arrested a shirtless, drunken man by the canal in Mullingar has assured Judge Hughes that it is unlikely the accused was sunbathing.

Garda Scott Kahler said Ciaran Heffernan (24 ) of Dalton Park has fair skin and was starting to roast at the Canal Line on June 23.

Garda Kahler explained how he had been on mountain bike patrol at the Canal Line at around 3.15 that afternoon when he came across Heffernan passed out about three metres from the edge of the canal.

There was a strong smell of alcohol and Heffernan, who couldn’t walk or stand without assistance, was a danger to himself and others.

Garda Kahler called for assistance and a patrol car arrived to bring Heffernan to the station. He didn’t have to be carried, because he could walk with help.

He was able to say his name and had to lie down for a while as the garda dealt with him.

Heffernan had no towel, Garda Kahler said, when Judge Hughes suggested Heffernan might have been sunbathing, and the judge wondered if the accused had been released from custody in time to catch the evening sun.

Heffernan, who has 43 previous convictions and is well known to gardaí, was not in court and a fine of €250 was imposed in his absence.

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