Punished. Why? A fellow human being, a person who was Cold, Homeless, and Desperate. Ireland the Land of a Two Tier Society, a class system.

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Homeless man fined for 'hopping into garda
          car' on cold night in Cork
David O’Leary opened the door of the garda vehicle and sat into the back seat without permission and demanded to be arrested as Cork Simon Community had refused to take him into the shelter. File photo

Thu, 25 Feb, 2021 – 08:09

A young man who was freezing on a night last January with nowhere to stay jumped into the back seat of a garda car and asked officers to take him to their station.

31-year-old David O’Leary’s actions cost him €200 yesterday at Cork District Court where Judge Olann Kelleher fined him.

The young man who had been staying at Cork Simon Community at the time pleaded guilty to the offence of trespassing in the car without permission.

Eddie Burke, defence solicitor, said of O’Leary’s action on the night of January 12: “He hopped into the back of the garda car. 

It was just too cold on the street and he asked them could they put him up in the Bridewell.

Sergeant Gearóid Davis said the young man was taken to the Bridewell but he was arrested and he should not have jumped into the back of the patrol car without permission.

Mr Burke said: “It was a desperate measure.” Judge Kelleher said the defendant had caused people a lot of trouble by his actions and then when he should have been in court for this case he failed to appear and a bench warrant had to be issued for his arrest.

Mr Burke said David O’Leary was now accommodated in a hostel organised through Cork Simon Community.

The background to the January 12 incident was that Garda Conor O’Callaghan was dealing with another incident outside Cork Simon Community at Anderson’s Quay when O’Leary opened the door of the official garda vehicle and sat into the back seat without permission and demanded to be arrested as Simon had refused to take him into the shelter.

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