'Daft' gardai paid specialist €280 to clean cell when a mop would have done, judge says
A judge has described gardaí paying specialist cleaners €280 to clean up a mess caused by a man in custody when he urinated on a cell door and floor at Ennis garda station as "daft".
At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan said that "a mop and bucket" would have done the job of cleaning up the mess caused by Patrick Maughan (37), of Westbrook House, Gort Road, Ennis, Co Clare, on September 19.
Sergeant Aiden Lonergan told Judge Durcan it cost the sum to get in specialist cleaners to clean up the urine mess made by Maughan. Judge Durcan said in court: "I think it was an unnecessary spend. A person with a mop could have cleaned that up.
"We have all to deal with what cats do, what dogs do."
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The judge added: "I hear the head of the Garda is involved in all sorts of cutbacks and I would simply say to the Commissioner to start at the bottom of the ladder."
In response, Sgt Lonergan said: "There is a balance to be struck. It is urine and it is a matter that has to be dealt with in a certain way."
He added: "I would have to say, judge, that gardaí would be better employed keeping the streets of Ennis safe and the roads safe rather than cleaning up Mr Maughan's urine."
In reply, Judge Durcan said: "It is not a job for a garda."
Maughan pleaded guilty to a criminal damage offence at Ennis garda station. Sgt Lonergan said the offence arose from Maughan urinating on the floor and door of his cell.
Judge Durcan adjourned the case for Maughan to pay €100 compensation.
He told Maughan's solicitor, Tara Godfrey, the compensation can be worked out with the cost of a plastic mop "and the cost of a plastic bucket you would buy from Dunnes Stores".