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I'm going to AA, says Fr Ted star in garda threats

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INCIDENT: Actor Gerard McSorley was arrested for using threatening and abusive behaviour outside a Dublin hotel

INCIDENT: Actor Gerard McSorley was arrested for using threatening and abusive behaviour outside a Dublin hotel

INCIDENT: Actor Gerard McSorley was arrested for using threatening and abusive behaviour outside a Dublin hotel

AN actor who admitted using threatening and abusive behaviour towards gardai has been undergoing treatment for alcohol addiction, he told a court.

Gerard McSorley (63), who has starred in a number of movies including a biopic on the life of murdered journalist Veronica Guerin, was arrested at his home in west Donegal yesterday afternoon and taken to Letterkenny District Court.

A bench warrant had been issued for his arrest at Dublin District Court in November after he failed to appear on a charge of using threatening and abusive behaviour in St Stephen's Green earlier that month.

DISTURBANCE

Gda Rory Harrison told Judge Paul Kelly at yesterday's hearing that he had arrested Omagh-born McSorley at his home in Bunbeg, Gweedore, Co Donegal, at 1.15pm by arrangement.

Judge Kelly asked the actor if he wished to have a solicitor.

"I'm pleading guilty so I don't see any point in it," replied McSorley.

Gda Harrison said that when he arrested McSorley, the actor said he had missed his court appearance in Dublin on November 28 because he did not know about it.

The officer told Judge Kelly that McSorley had been arrested at Staunton's Hotel at 2am on November 6.

"He was standing on the steps of the B&B and was being abusive and causing a disturbance at the scene," said Gda Harrison.

"He was asked to desist and refused to do so and continued to be abusive, disturbing other guests on the premises.

"He was arrested and later charged and bailed."

The officer said McSorley, who has starred in dozens of movies including War Horse, Angela's Ashes and The Butcher Boy, had a number of previous convictions for similar offences.

The actor, who also played Fr Todd Unctious in TV's Father Ted, had appeared before Falcarragh District Court in 2005 and 2006 on charges including using threatening behaviour and being drunk in a public place.

Gda Harrison said McSorley had also been convicted in Kilmainham District Court in 2001 for impersonating a garda officer and drink-driving.

Judge Kelly told McSorley it was clear "alcohol has been a problem for you and will continue to be unless you address it".

The actor told the judge: "I am doing everything I can. I have just completed five weeks in a psychiatric unit and I was released two weeks ago under the care of my doctor.

"I am going to AA meetings, and I apologise.

"It isn't in my character to behave badly, but I guess with alcohol I have made some mistakes."

Judge Kelly told McSorley: "The problem is that if you accumulate a similar number of offences there is not much of an option for the courts but to deal with it in a much more severe way.

APOLOGISED

"You need to get your act together or you will be back here."

McSorley replied: "It won't happen again."

Judge Kelly fined him €200, allowing him three months to pay.

McSorley paid the fine at the court before leaving through a rear door of the building and being driven away by Gda Harrison.

After the incident, the actor had apologised to the owners of Staunton's Hotel for his behaviour.

hnews@herald.ie


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