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Poor vision blamed for garda attack

A VISUALLY impaired man who tried to headbutt a garda in a drunken episode in Temple Bar claimed alcohol worsened his eyesight and he "didn't know what was happening".

Stephen Sheridan (31) lunged at the officer, who intervened when he was seen hurling abuse at door staff at a pub where he had been refused entry.

A judge fined him €100 after he admitted public order offences in the incident.

Sheridan, with an address at Ardcath, Garristown, in North County Dublin, pleaded guilty to public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace at Temple Lane on August 6 last.

Judge Denis McLoughlin convicted him on the drunkenness charge but struck out the other.

Sgt Caroline Cullen told the court that gardai went to the scene of a disturbance outside a pub at 1.44am. On arriving, they saw the accused in an intoxicated state, verbally abusing members of staff. There were numerous members of the public at the scene.

During the incident, he attempted to headbutt Garda Padraig Keoghan. The garda sustained no injuries and the accused was arrested.

The court heard the defendant had previous convictions for public order offences.

Sheridan apologised in court to the garda involved. He said he had been drinking in the pub and went outside for a cigarette.



jacket

He was refused entry back into the pub and asked the doorman if he could get his jacket but was not allowed.

"I am registered with the National Council for the Blind and when I have a few drinks, my eyesight isn't the best," the defendant told the court.

"I was unaware of my surroundings and the people around me. I was just unaware of what was happening."

Judge McLoughlin said he found this hard to believe given the defendant's previous convictions.

He said the accused would have been "more than aware what was going on" and would have known what he should have done, given his previous dealings with the gardai.

Sheridan said his previous convictions were drink-related and he was very intoxicated at the time of those offences.

The accused was on disability allowance and was due to begin studying to be a care assistant.

"The chances of you being employed as a care assistant, on the basis of your previous convictions, are slim to say the least," the judge remarked.

He struck out the breach of the peace charge because of the way the accused "had met the case", but said he felt it was appropriate to record a conviction for public intoxication.

aphelan@herald.ie


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