A man who stole a bottle of vodka from a supermarket had good prospects but a "crippling addiction" to alcohol, a court was told.
It was his "demon", said barrister Jennifer Jackson, defending.
Mark Carolan (29), of Turner's Hill, Kingscourt, Cavan, admitted theft.
Blanchardstown District Court heard he stole a €26 bottle of vodka from Dunnes Stores in St Margaret's Road, Finglas, last May 28.
Carolan, who had a previous conviction for drink-driving, had completed a residential treatment programme.
Letters from the programme were presented to the court.
Carolan had had a "rather crippling addiction to alcohol in the past", said Ms Jackson.
Carolan had done a BA course and had "very good prospects" but found himself in the throes of addiction.
He was now studying teaching English as a foreign language and hoped to travel to Japan to work.
Alcohol was his "demon", but when he had no contact with it he was able to lead a fruitful life, said Ms Jackson.
Judge David McHugh adjourned the case to a date in January for a restorative justice prog-ramme report.
He told the accused to pay €300 to charity, carry out 20 hours of voluntary work and write a letter of apology to Dunnes Stores.
He told Carolan that if all this was done, he was willing, "with some reluctance", to give the defendant a final chance and leave him without a conviction.