Man spared jail for deeply offensive comments to Cork hospital staff

Man spared jail for deeply offensive comments to Cork hospital staff

The incident happened after 6am at the emergency department of Mercy University Hospital on March 27.

A CORK man brought by ambulance to hospital demanded to be treated first, saying he had private health insurance, and then made deeply offensive comments to a member of staff.

The man attributed his behaviour to concussion as a result of an assault before being brought to hospital.

Sergeant Pat Lyons said the incident happened after 6am at the emergency department of Mercy University Hospital on March 27.

Kenneth Feehan of Mangerton Close, The Glen, Cork, was brought to the hospital by ambulance but, as soon as he arrived, he started causing trouble.

“He began demanding treatment first, saying he had private health insurance.

“He said to [a person working in the hospital], ‘You have 42 convictions for raping kids’,” Sgt. Lyons said.

The sergeant said Feehan’s remark was totally without foundation.

Gardaí were called to the scene and found that Feehan was intoxicated to such an extent that he was a danger to himself or others.

At Cork District Court, Feehan pleaded guilty to charges of being drunk and a danger, and engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour.

Sgt Lyons said the defendant had five previous convictions for drunkenness and two for engaging in threatening behaviour.

Defence solicitor Eddie Burke said those convictions date back a long time.

In respect of the recent incident, Feehan wrote a letter of apology.

Mr Burke said the 36-year-old was drinking with others in a house and he fell asleep on the chair. “When he woke he noticed his wallet and other items were missing. He brought this to the attention of others in the house and he ended up being beaten up. 

He experienced some form of concussion.

“He nearly got physically sick when he realised what he said to people on the night. I did not prompt the letter of apology. He did that himself,” Mr Burke said.

Judge Olann Kelleher said: “It is a very serious offence against people at the coalface.”

Mr Burke said: “More than the drink, it seems to be an element of concussion.”

The judge imposed a two-month suspended sentence on the threatening charge, and fined him €500 for being drunk and a danger.

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