Wealthy US drunk was firing abuse

Andrew Phelan

A DISABLED American man from a wealthy family whose spending power became an "urban myth" in Dublin pubs has been given a suspended sentence for public order offences.

Ian Nelson, whose family is supporting him with a €70,000-per-year trust fund, was arrested after gardai found him hurling drunken abuse at passers-by in the city centre.

Dublin District Court heard other people were helping him spend "far too much" of his money on drinks.

Nelson (49), of no fixed abode but with a previous address at a south Dublin hotel, admitted breach of the peace and public intoxication in Temple Bar.

Judge Victor Blake gave him a two-month suspended jail sentence.

Garda Yu Tao said in evidence he was on patrol at 8.25am on April 1 when he came across Nelson at Eustace Street.

He was sitting on the footpath shouting abuse at people passing. He was unable to give his name and address when asked. The garda arrested him because he was concerned for his safety.

Paul Byrne, defending, said Nelson had travelled a good deal and had stayed in Ireland for the past five years.


"He has difficulty from time to time with alcohol, and it seeks to get him into scrapes", Mr Byrne said.

The court heard Nelson had eight previous convictions for public drunkenness.

"There is an urban-type myth that has gone about Dublin that he is a man with large amounts of money and certain individuals have helped him spend that money when it is available," Mr Byrne said.

Judge Blake fined Nelson €470 for public intoxication and another €500 for breach of the peace. He suspended the sentence for a year on condition Nelson entered a peace bond. Recognisances were fixed in the event of an appeal.