A man who wrote ‘IRA’ in large letters on a Garda station cell with his own faeces has been jailed for a total of eight months.

Joseph Colhoun appeared at Letterkenny District Court charged with a series of offences.

The charges included assaulting Gardai, damaging a van, damaging a Garda cell, breaking neighbour’s windows, being intoxicated and assault.

The offences all happened between last September and February of this year when Colhoun’s addiction to alcohol spiralled out of control.

The court was told by Colhoun’s solicitor Frank Dorrian that his client had lost so many people who had meant so much to him.

He initially lost his mother in 2012 to cancer and she had been his guiding light.

However, the loss of his brother and then his father Ruby following two separate tragedies when they both drowned in the same stretch of the River Mourne was too much for him to take.

Mr Dorrian said “He has been on a collision course and his ideation in recent times has been very dark and unwelcome and he has attempted self-harm.”

However, he added that since being in custody he has tried to turn his life around and has been attending bereavement counselling and plans to attend an alcohol rehabilitation centre when he gets out of prison.

“He had been utterly and hopelessly out of control but he is a different man today. He is genuinely contrite and is in a better frame of mind,” he added.

Garda Sgt Gerard Dalton outlined the litany of offences against the father-of-four of Beechwood Grove, Lifford who already had 43 previous convictions before these charges.

The first offence happened on September 1st last year when he was caught swinging a hammer above his head outside his former partner’s house.

Gardai arrived and tried to calm him down but he became violent and struck one of them with his head and threatened to bite and headbutt another when arrested.

When taken to Letterkenny Gada station he smeared the letters IRA in large writing on the cell wall with his faeces.

He was also charged with breaking into a local psychiatric institution where his brother was being treated on March 4th last and then attacking a stranger’s van causing €1,691 worth of damage for no reason.

On February 17th he attacked staff at Daly’s Filling Station in Lifford because they would not serve him alcohol at 5.30am.

A letter written by Colhoun was handed into Judge Paul Kelly to read.

Passing sentence and jailing Colhoun for eight months, Judge Kelly remarked “I hear where you are coming from but the number of offences you have committed, the injury and damage you have caused to a number of people has made it impossible for me to deal with this in any other way than with a custodial sentence.

“I will leave you some hope for the future when you do get out.”


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