Accused sacks barrister and defends himself

Kilmallock District Court

AN ACCUSED man who had 63 previous convictions sacked his barrister as his case began, opting to instead represent himself.

Sam Houlihan (38), of 6 Aherlow Heights in Tipperary Town, also corrected a Garda Inspector who had told the court the man had 65 convictions.

Houlihan appeared before Judge Patricia Harney in Kilmallock District Court, represented by Liam Carroll BL.

But as Mr Carroll got his his feet to plead for his client, Mr Houlihan told the judge he wanted to represent himself.

He was pleading guilty to a Public Order charge. Inspector Gearoid Thompson read out details of the event in which, he said, the accused man was  “extremely intoxicated on the street in Kilmallock. He couldn’t walk by himself.”

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Asked by the Judge if he was intoxicated, he replied: “Yes but not very intoxicated”.

“I was badly assaulted and I was staggering because I was injured,” he told the court.

While Inspector Thompson was reading out details of the previous convictions, including convictions for public order offences, drink driving, criminal damage, failing to stop for a Garda, breach of Covid regulations, and possession of an article with intent to commit an offence, Houlihan interrupted.

“I have no convictions for Section 3 assault,” he said.

On checking, Inspector Thompson agreed that he had received the Probation Act for those offences.

Judge Harney fined him €50 for the offence before the court that day.