A Templemore man with 50 previous convictions is to serve 4 months in prison for a string of offences, including assault and criminal damage, heard a sitting of Thurles District Court.
Seamus Hennessy, of 45 Railway View, Templemore pleaded guilty to all the charges before Judge Elizabeth MacGrath.
Sgt. Declan O’Carroll said that in the early hours of May 18, 2017, Hennessy went to 39 Lacey Avenue, Templemore. An “altercation” broke out at the front door, and Hennessy went to intervene.
Hennessy “kicked” the injured party in the face, and “struck him with his fist.” The injured party felt it was a kick, although Mr Hennessy maintained it was a punch. At this stage another person tried to separate the two parties. Mr Hennessy then went to another property, 67 Lacey Avenue, Templemore, and kicked the bottom panel of the front door, the property of Thomas Adlum.
Sgt. O’Carroll said Hennessy was charged with assault causing harm, and criminal damage.
Hennessy has 50 previous convictions, including 32 related to public order, 5 for assault, and one criminal damage. Solicitor Patrick Cadell said his client “accepts he was wrong” to intervene with the third party. Hennessy had been drinking with the injured party. He had been involved in a “skirmish on the ground” and “someone came from behind.”
Hennessy “lashed out with his fist”. Mr Cadell said Hennessy “pleaded guilty from day one”. The circumstances were “unusual” in that the injured party was a friend of Hennessy’s father, and Hennessy “has known him all his life”.
Mr Cadell presented a letter of apology Hennessy had handwritten to Judge MacGrath, apologising to the injured man. “He’s been in custody for eight weeks approximately,” added Mr Cadell. There had been attempts to organise addiction counselling for Mr Hennessy, in Aiséirí and Cuan Mhuire treatment centres.
“He accepts his alcohol addiction is completely out of control, and he was a nuisance,” added Mr Cadell.
In a separate incident, Hennessy was stopped on July 31, 2016, at Railway Road, Templemore.
A Garda observed a car being driven “across the road, between two other cars.” Hennessy, who was the driver, “got out, there was a strong smell of alcohol, and his eyes were glassy,” said Sgt. O’Carroll. Hennessy provided a sample of breath which showed a breath alcohol concentration of 77/100. The legal limit is 22 microgrammes of alcohol per 100 millilitres of breath. Hennessy also had no insurance, or driving licence. He has 10 previous traffic convictions.
Judge MacGrath heard that Hennessy was disqualified from driving on the day he was stopped. He was the subject of a 2-year driving ban at the time.
In another incident, Hennessy “started shouting abuse” at Gardaí after he “dropped to the ground”, on May 3, 2017, at Lacey Avenue, Templemore. Mr Cadell said his client was observed at “8.45am” on July 31 last year. Hennessy had taken “cans” and got into the car. The time of 8.45am would “give you an indication as to where his life was at this stage. He has not been drinking since.”
Hennessy had been applying for the restoration of his licence before he was apprehended. Judge MacGrath said she noted the guilty pleas.
As he had no insurance, and was disqualified on the day, Judge MacGrath said she would impose a 4-month prison sentence, and ban Hennessy from driving for 4 years. Hennessy was fined €200 for the public order matter.
In relation to the assault, Hennessy was sentenced to six months imprisonment. However, this sentence was backdated to May 23rd, near the time when Hennessy first entered custody. The two prison sentences are to run concurrently. The criminal damage was taken into account. In the event of an appeal, Judge MacGrath fixed recognizances at €500 own bail, with an independent surety of €1,000.