Man jailed for ‘feral’ behaviour on streets

Galway Courthouse

An alcoholic who ran around Galway City ‘like a feral animal’, terrorising tourists and picking fights, has been jailed for six months.

Judge Mary Fahy described the actions of Thomas Ward (23) of 43 Gilmartin Road, Tuam and others he hung around with as ‘serious’.

Hearing Ward’s legal representative saying his client’s action were driven by his alcoholism, Judge Fahy said there were many alcoholics who didn’t run around town “like feral animals” creating chaos and using up a lot of Garda time.

Ward was before the court on a plethora of charges involving theft and public order offences.

One incident involved Ward and three other males threatening passengers at Ceannt Station. A knife was found on Ward when he was searched.

During another incident on November 8 last year at Shop Street, Ward was observed shouting obscenities at a woman who was verbally fighting back.

On May 25 last, Ward was seen acting aggressively trying to pick fights with people passing by at Williamsgate Street.

He was finally arrested on June 8 last at Claddagh Quay where he was drinking and causing a nuisance. In fact, the situation, involving others, was so tense that pepper spray had to be used by Gardaí who came on the scene.

Judge Fahy said it was a shame that the 23-year-old wouldn’t use his energy on getting a job or doing a course instead of “running around the town like feral animals”.

Solicitor Seán Acton, defending, said his client had reached a crossroads in his life, which had been a tough one – being reared by his grandparents and finding himself homeless for a while when he was “sleeping under the stars”.

Ward was sentenced to ten months in prison with 80 hours of community service work on his release and a €100 fine.