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Dublin: 3 °C Tuesday 25 February, 2020

Judge jails 48-year-old homeless man who called priest a 'motherf**ker'

The man had pleaded guilty to a public order charge arising from the incident.

The cathedral in Ennis.
The cathedral in Ennis.
Image: Google Maps

A JUDGE HAS jailed a 48-year-old homeless Polish man after he called a Catholic priest “a motherfucker” outside St Peter and Paul Pro-Cathedral in Ennis last month.

At Ennis District Court, Judge Patrick Durcan jailed Tomasz Hadjuk for two months after stating that Hadjuk had used obscenities when remonstrating with the un-named priest.

In court, Judge Durcan also barred Mr Hadjuk from entering the Cathedral or its grounds for two years.

He said:

I don’t want to be accused of preventing the man engaging in legitimate worship – there are plenty of other churches including some of the same denomination as the Cathedral in Ennis where he can worship.

In evidence, Garda Aoife O’Malley said that Hadjuk was hugely intoxicated and also called another garda and herself ‘motherfuckers’ when they intervened on 26 January last.

Judge Durcan said that Hadjuk “used the most foul and filthy words to address the two gardaí”.

He said it was “contemptible”.

Hadjuk pleaded guilty to a public order charge arising from the incident.

Evening Mass 

The incident shortly before evening mass on Saturday 26 January occurred a number of weeks after Ennis parish priest, Fr Tom Ryan announced “a zero tolerance” to anyone hanging around the cathedral and its grounds.

In recent years, a number of homeless men with addiction problems have been congregating around the cathedral.

Speaking last month, Father Ryan said that he has often had to mop up urine and worse in the cathedral after the mess left by people who frequented the building to smoke and drink alcohol.

In court, Judge Durcan said that Hadjuk “is a nuisance in the town of Ennis”.

He said:

The Gardai have an awful lot to be doing and to have their time diminished by having to deal with that unnecessary abuse is totally unacceptable and a stop has to be called to his gallop.

Asked to suspend the jail term by solicitor for Hadjuk, Tara Godfrey, Judge Durcan replied “that would be a waste of time”.

“Freedom to attack” 

Judge Durcan said:

“We live in a society now where people feel that they have the freedom to attack anyone in authority and get away with it. That is not going to happen in this court.”

Sergeant Aiden Lonergan said that Hadjuk has 40 previous convictions and they were by and large public order offences.

Godfrey said that Mr Hadjuk is sober in court and has lived in Ireland for the past 13 to 14 years where he has previously worked in Galway, Longford and Killarney.

She said that Hadjuk comes from a military family and he is quite ashamed of how far he has come down in life.

Godfrey said that Hadjuk has stated to seek help for his alcoholism “and is making a tremendous effort”.

Godfrey asked Judge Durcan to extend mercy to Hadjuk and not jail him.

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About the author:

Gordon Deegan

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