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Judge slams drunken behaviour in graveyards

Drunken public disorder after funerals and in graveyards is becoming more frequent, a judge has warned.

Judge James McDonnell made his comments in the case of a young man who became drunk and disorderly while drinking at the grave of a friend who had died recently.

Barry Casey was mourning the death of a close friend and had attended his funeral earlier in the day. The court heard how the 22-year-old and a group of his friends went to the pub afterwards.


Later on, he, the deceased's sister and a group of 20 to 30 people decided to visit the grave.

Gardai were called to the graveyard in the Dublin Mountains after members of the public complained about the gang who was drinking beside a grave.

A judge expressed his shock at the defendant's behaviour, saying incidents of young men behaving poorly after funerals and in graveyards have only started to occur in the last two years.

Judge James McDonnell said he is now dealing with this type of incident on a monthly basis. He said he couldn't recall any such incidents in his previous 20 years on the bench.


Casey was left without a conviction after he completed the offender reparation programme, and completed an essay on the sanctity of graveyards.

The defendant, of Cushlawn Park in Tallaght, previously admitted before Tallaght District Court to public drunkenness and threatening and abusive behaviour.

The incident took place in the graveyard at Bohernabreena Road, Tallaght around 7pm on September 11.

Sergeant Bernard Jones said Casey was part of a large group of 20 to 30 men and women who were drinking beside at grave.

Gardai directed the group to leave the area, and most of them had started to walk back down Bohernabreena Road. However, a drunken Casey tried to obstruct gardai while they were arresting a second youth, and he was aggressive towards them.

The court heard that Casey, an apprentice carpenter, had attended the funeral of a close friend who had died from a drug overdose.


He was in the pub with the dead man's family and friends, and a group of them decided to go back to the grave.

Casey apologised for his behaviour, saying he was very, very upset.

Judge McDonnell applied the probation act after Casey made a donation towards the upkeep of the graveyard.