"There's no excusing the level of violence involved," Judge Sean O Donnabhain said. "This was a serious assault and you have a list of previous convictions for anti-social behavior."
He sentenced O'Driscoll to two years in jail but suspended the final 12 months.
‘Racist’ Remark Nixed
OUTSPOKEN Drogheda councilor Frank Godfrey was forced to withdraw remarks he had made at the monthly meeting after fellow councilors accused him of racism.
During a debate on the housing list Godfrey said, “People are coming in and getting houses. Our own people are left on the streets and not being accommodated. I am asking we do all we can do get houses for these people and look after our own.”
Councilor Micheal O'Dowd pointed out that the council was guided by equality legislation when allocating houses.
“To me, ‘look after our own’ is racism, although I don't believe Councilor Godfrey is a racist. But we have to be very careful in the language we use,” O’Dowd said.
He added that the council had a duty to provide a service to all citizens and can't act on a discriminatory basis.
Councilor Liam Reilly said he was “shocked” by Godfrey's remarks and would like to distance himself from them, asking Godfrey to withdraw them.
“I am certainly not a racist,” Godfrey declared. “I was just making a point of fact that a lot of our own people feel that people are being discriminated against and are not getting houses. That is what people are saying. We have to take into consideration our own people.”
“If people are saying it, they are saying it to me, they are being discriminatory,” said chairman, Councilor Declan Breathnach.
Godfrey defended his comments, saying that there was resentment from people in the county.
“We have to do something abut it and house our own people. Only last week I came across a man with blankets sleeping in a park,” he said.
McGuinness said that there may be people who have not come to the attention of the housing services or don't want to engage with them.
“I cannot let it be said that there is injustice in the housing supply in Louth,” remarked McGuinness.
Reilly again said that he found Godfrey's remarks to be “absolutely disgraceful,” and Councilor Pearse McGeough seconded his call to Godfrey to withdraw them.
Protesting that he was just making a point about what people are saying, Godfrey agreed to withdraw his comments.