"When the drink's in, the wit's out," declared Judge Sean MacBride, at Cavan District Court, after hearing how an intoxicated Co. Meath man requisitioned a show horse from a Cavan stables and headed out the road on the animal.
Paul Fagan, 17, Chestnut Grove, Dunboyne, Co. Meath, was summoned for being intoxicated in public at Regaskin, Cavan, on June 28, 2009. A charge of stealing a show horse belonging to Lisa Spratt was struck out.
Inspector Alan Cunningham, prosecuting, informed the court that gardaí found the defendant riding the show horse along the road in the early hours of the morning.
Fagan had been at a fancy dress party earlier in the night dressed up as a jockey and on leaving the party he decided he would take up being a jockey and removed the horse from the stables. The animal was valued at €13,000 and the incident was taken to be a prank, said the inspector. However, there were veterinary fees of €340 for the treatment of an injury to the horse. Michael Ryan, solicitor defending, said that his client was aged 23 and was employed as a despatch manager. His father died suddenly last year and he lived with his mother. He consumed too much alcohol at the fancy dress party and he agreed with the judge who commented that it was a case of "when the drink's in; the wit's out".
Judge MacBride dismissed the case under the Probation Act after the defendant paid over €400 to Dromard Community Games on top of the €340 for the vet's fees.