Judge jokes he may have to send defendant to learn “golf in the West of Ireland” if he doesn’t complete 150 hours of community service

Limerick District Court
A judge joked in a Limerick court today that he might have to send a defendant to the West of Ireland to learn “golf” if he doesn’t complete 150 hours of community service.
Judge Patrick Durkan, presiding at the city’s District Court, heard the man had attended at a site to start his community service but was advised not to stay after he said he was suffering from seizures.
Philip Whelan, 33, with an address at Shanabooley Road, Limerick, was previously sentenced to 150 hours of community service in lieu of a three-month jail term for possessing a small amount of heroin and a knife in 2017.
Mr Whelan’s doctor wrote to the Probation Service explaining that he was fit to perform “light duties”.
The cause of Mr Whelan’s seizures was unknown.
In court today, a member of the probation service, gave evidence that concerns had been expressed that Mr Whelan was not fit to perform community service because he had informed the service that he was taking “seizures without warning”.
The witness said those who would be monitoring Mr Whelan’s community service were not trained medically to deal with seizures.
Judge Durcan asked Mr Whelan’s solicitor, Sarah Ryan: “What do you want me to do with him?”
He then joked: “Perhaps we should send him off to take golf lessons in the West of Ireland.”
Ms Ryan replied: “Golf can be dangerous, judge”, to which the judge responded, “yes, it can”.
The probation service sought another letter from Mr Whelan’s doctor, stating he was still fit to perform the community service.
Addressing the witness, Judge Durcan said: “This is typical bureaucracy, writing files from A to B so that no-one can be criticised, that’s my view. You can find outdoor work that doesn’t create a danger, and if a person has a seizure while they’re working, well – they have a seizure.”
He added: “I don’t go for this level of political correctness, to be sure, to be sure.”
Adjourning the matter to October 1, the judge continued: “His doctor says he is fit for light duties, and my attitude is get up and get moving, so get to the light duties.”