Drunk man arrested at Mass

St Augustine's Church

Gardaí had to go to a Mass in Cork City to arrest a man who was so drunk he was a source of danger in the church.

Garda Marja Furphy responded to a call to St Augustine’s Church on Washington St at 8.30pm on Monday evening, August 17.

Yesterday, at Cork District Court, Garda Inspector Ronan Kenneally said that when Garda Furphy and her colleague arrived in St Augustine’s, they found Denis Hassett lying down in the back of the church.

“Mass was going on at the time. He was at the rear of the church lying on the floor. He was intoxicated and not able to stand.

“Gardaí had to arrest him for his own safety and the safety of others in the vicinity,” Insp Kenneally said.

Hassett, aged 23, pleaded guilty to the charge of being drunk and a source of danger.

His solicitor, Eddie Burke, said that it was not unusual for people on drunkenness charges to be charged also with engaging in threatening behaviour.

He said that it was notable in Hassett’s case that there was no such threatening charge.

Hassett previously had his case adjourned because he was in an intoxicated condition in court.

At Cork District Court, the accused pleaded guilty to the drunken behaviour at Mass.

He also admitted stealing a €27 bottle of vodka from Merchants Quay, Cork, on August 3.

And more recently Hassett came to the attention of gardaí on September 15 at Oliver Plunkett St in Cork City.

Mr Burke said Hassett was keen to gather compensation to pay for the vodka he stole from the shop.

Judge Leo Malone said he would adjourn penalty in the theft and public order cases until September 23 to give him time to get that money.

On the application of Insp Ronan Kenneally, Hassett was put on a curfew to be at Simon on Anderson’s Quay between 10pm at night and 8am each morning, sign in three days a week at the Bridewell Garda Station, and not to consume intoxicants in public.


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