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Drunk man abused bus passengers in Clonakilty

June 3rd, 2023 9:00 AM

By Southern Star Team

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A DISTRICT court judge told a Clonakilty man who has yet to pay compensation for the damage he caused to a vehicle over three years ago, that ‘it was all one way’ and refused a free legal aid request.

Judge James McNulty had been dealing with Padraig Kershaw (23) of 30 Parkview, Clonakilty on a different matter at a recent sitting of Clonakilty District Court, when the issue of the unpaid compensation came up.

Mr Kershaw had pleaded guilty to using or engaging  in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and being drunk in a public place on February 27th last,

Sgt Paul Kelly told the court that on that date at Croppy Quay in Clonakilty, the defendant tried to get on a Bus Éireann bus to Bandon.

‘He was refused entry by the bus driver, due to his drunkenness and this greatly angered him, and the bus driver ended up calling the gardaí,’ said Sgt Kelly.

‘Mr Kershaw then became highly abusive to passengers and others waiting at the bus stop. He shouted at an innocent woman and said: “I’ll get you done in prison.” He then started shouting more abuse at others waiting at the bus stop and he was arrested.’

The court heard that he has 11 previous convictions, including four for being drunk in a public place, two for criminal damage and one for the possession of a knife.

Judge James McNulty noted that the defendant was to pay compensation of €1,000 for damage to a car he caused in April 2020. That matter had been adjourned to last December for the payment of the compensation, which wasn’t paid.

Mr Kershaw said he had €300 in court, while Judge McNulty said it’s a ‘long time coming’ as the offence happened over three years ago.

His solicitor, Colette McCarthy, said her client has a small income and asked the court for more time. 

She said he has alcohol issues, is engaging with a key worker and is going for an assessment for a treatment centre. ‘He previously completed a community service order successfully and he’s aware he’s at risk of a prison sentence,’ said Ms McCarthy.

Judge McNulty convicted him on the public order charge, deferred penalty and sought an update probation report, to include an assessment for community service. He convicted and fined him €200 for being drunk in a public place and gave him 60 days to pay.

The judge told him that he will need more than €300 to pay for the damage to the car and adjourned the case until June 20th. He politely declined an application by Ms McCarthy for free legal aid.

‘It’s all one way. The people of Ireland are paying and he’s not paying anything.’

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