An unemployed lab technician, who is a practicing Muslim, has been fined after he hurled abuse at elderly churchgoers in Dublin.

The Evening Herald reports that when Omar Mussa, 48, was arrested by police he told them his verbal attack was random and that he had no issue with the Mass attendees.

Musa, with an address at South Circular Road, Dublin 8, pleaded guilty at Dublin District court to public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace at Johnson's Court on February 19 last.

The defendant had 12 previous convictions for public order offences in Dublin and Cork.

Originally from Somalia, he spent 12 years in Kuwait working as a lab technician before moving to Ireland. He is a practicing Muslim who began drinking alcohol five years ago.

The court heard that police were stopped by passersby who claimed Mussa was shouting abuse at elderly members of the public entering St Teresa's Church, in Dublin city centre.

Mussa's solicitor, Stephen O'Mahony, said: "He seems to get himself very intoxicated and ends up on the street shouting at random passers-by. There isn't any reason why he was upset at the church or had any issues with its patrons, he was simply at that location."

The court heard he is no longer drinking and is receiving treatment for alcohol dependcy.

Judge William Early fined him $79 (€60) and placed him on a six-month probation bond.