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Drunk Muslim lab technician fined after hurling abuse at churchgoers

AN OUT-of-work lab technician who roared abuse at elderly churchgoers was a practising Muslim who only started drinking after he came to Ireland.

Omar Mussa (48) was arrested but insisted that the abuse was random and he had no issue with the Dublin city centre church or those attending.

Mussa, with an address at South Circular Road, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court to public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace at Johnson's Court on February 19 last. The court heard that gardai were stopped by a number of passers-by who complained that the accused was shouting at the top of his voice at elderly members of the public entering St Teresa's Church.

The defendant has 12 previous convictions for public order offences in Dublin and Cork and had been given fines, as well as sentences and a community service order in the past.

Mussa's solicitor, Stephen O'Mahony, said: "He seems to get himself very intoxicated and ends up on the street shouting at random passers-by. There isn't any reason why he was upset at the church or had any issues with its patrons, he was simply at that location."

Mussa was originally from Somalia but had spent 12 years in Kuwait working as a lab technician before coming to Ireland.

He was a practising Muslim who had not drunk alcohol until five years ago but became addicted quite quickly. He was now off drink and getting treatment.

He was put on a six-month probation bond and Judge William Early fined him €60 for his threatening and insulting behaviour.