A Sixmilebridge man who lit up a cigarette in the front seat of a garda car has been asked to make a €200 contribution to charity.
At Ennis District Court last Wednesday, Judge Patrick Durcan told Shane Devanney (31), “Keep away from squad cars is my advice to you.”
The judge made his comments after Mr Devanney, with an address at Chapel Court, Sixmilebridge, pleaded guilty to being intoxicated to such an extent so as to be a danger to himself or others at Abbey Street, Ennis on October 24, 2017.
Outlining the facts of the case, Inspector Tom Kennedy said Garda Kenneth Butler and Garda Conor Langan were dealing with an incident on Abbey Street on the night in question.
The court heard Mr Devanney, who was not involved in the original incident, approached the gardaí and was told to go away.
Insp Kennedy said when the gardaí turned around, they saw that Mr Devanney had jumped into the front passenger seat of the nearby patrol car.
Insp Kennedy said the accused then lit up a cigarette and started “puffing away.”
The court heard Mr Devanney left the squad car when asked to do so.
“He seems to have a fondness for squad cars,” Judge Durcan remarked.
Insp Kennedy said, “You learn something new every day. This is a new one on me.”
Addressing Mr Devanney’s solicitor, Judge Durcan said, “Would he like to sit in another squad car?”
Mr Fitzpatrick replied that his client would not.
The solicitor said Mr Devanney is a qualified tradesman, who had lost his job and consumed too much alcohol on the night in question.
In court Mr Devanney explained that he thought he was getting into a taxi.
Judge Durcan said that if the accused makes a €200 payment to the court discretionary fund, he would strike out the charge. Mr Devanney was given to December 30 to make the payment.

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A native of Ennis, Ronan Judge completed his Journalism and Communications Diploma course at Griffith College. The Clare People is his first newspaper appointment.

Contact Ronan on rjudge@clarepeople.ie

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