RESTRICTIONS caused by the Covid pandemic resulted in a Cork man’s business collapsing and him getting into all sorts of trouble since then and now he has been given a five-month jail term for smashing up a café table at the boardwalk in Cork and throwing it into the River Lee.
Patrick O’Driscoll of 29 Comeragh Park, The Glen, Cork, pleaded guilty at Cork District Court to charges of causing criminal damage to the café property – namely a table costing €200. He also admitted being drunk and a source of danger and engaging in threatening behaviour on the occasion.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis said it happened at Fly Coffee, Boardwalk, Lapps Quay, Cork.
Sergeant Davis said, “On June 3 2022 at 3 p.m. Garda Xiao Ma was on mountain bike patrol on Lapps Quay when staff at Fly Coffee informed him that a man had damaged one of the coffee tables belonging to the café.
“Patrick O’Driscoll was sitting on a chair outside Clayton Hotel. From CCTV footage, Garda Ma observed him flip the coffee table on to the ground before tearing it apart, stamping on the table and throwing parts of it into the River Lee.”
The defendant was highly intoxicated at the time of the incident. The accused had 17 previous convictions for being drunk and a danger, ten for engaging in threatening behaviour and two for causing criminal damage.
Eddie Burke, solicitor, said the accused never came to the attention of gardaí before the Covid pandemic. He said that while Patrick O’Driscoll had accrued a number of convictions it was not until September 2021 that – at the age of 28 – he began to get his first convictions. Mr Burke said that before this the young man had a full working history and even had his own business which he set up in 2017.
But he said Covid brought about the collapse of his business and he suffered from mental health and depression difficulties. He ended up living between the streets and the Simon night shelter.
However, Mr Burke said that on previous occasions when the accused was in custody he only wanted to get out again to continue drinking, he had changed his attitude and now wanted to engage in rehabilitation after getting out of prison.
Mr Burke reminded Judge Olann Kelleher that the accused was jailed last month for a serious incident where he was threatening and abusive to staff at a city centre Spar shop while armed with a knife.
He was jailed for eleven months arising out of this attack and other incidents.
The five months he received for the incident at the boardwalk will run concurrently with that.
Judge Olann Kelleher said, “He not only damaged the table but threw it in the River Lee. It was a very aggressive act,” Judge Kelleher said.