Once again, Marvel deadlines have kept me too busy to write the next part of “Dear Ryan”. That’s coming soon. In the meantime, big thanks to Dju, my French translator, for passing along the following news item. It would appear that a certain someone has run mad again...
Irishman urinated on French bread in protest at Henry handball, court told
A drunken unemployed plasterer who was found urinating on the French loaves section of a large supermarket in protest at the infamous handball incident in the France vs Ireland World Cup qualifier was this week given a suspended sentence, fined and bound over to keep the peace.
Frances “Smokie” Larkin, The Meadows, Killareagh, Co Roscommon pleaded guilty to the incident at Maher’s ValueStore supermarket, Killareagh, one week after the match which Ireland controversially drew after the French goal was deemed to have scored despite a blatant handball by French striker Thierry Henry.
Staff found the 46-year-old urinating on the Cuisine de France section of the bread shelves in Maher’s, shouting “this will teach ye, ye cheating French b*****dddds,” before he was taken away by local gardai.
Gardai Anthony Flanagan told the court that he had been called to the store at 11.15 on the morning of November 25.
“When I reached the shop, I was informed that Mr Larkin was causing a disturbance in the bread section and when I got there, he was urinating on the French bread section and stamping on a loaf. I later ascertained that the loaves were brioches, a sort of French bread.
“When he saw me, he tried to run away but I apprehended him and grabbed him by the arm. He said ‘that’s for Thierry Henry, guard. If you have any pride in your country, you’ll let me go.
“Then he said ‘that’ll teach them, the cheating French b*****dddds.’”
Addressing the court, Angela Roche, solicitor for the defendant said that her client had a problem with drink and that normally he was a placid character.
“It is when he mixes alcohol with his passion for sport that he gets himself into situations like this,” she said.
She said that Mr Larkin had become quite agitated with the result of the World Cup match and had worn an “I shot Thierry Henry” t-shirt that he had made up in a local t-shirt shop.
In evidence, Mr Larkin apologised to Mahers store and said that he “had no axe to grind with them,” but that they had been caught up in what he said was “friendly fire.”
He said that he wanted to make a grand gesture to show that the Irish were not going to take the controversial incident lying down.
“The French loaf is the symbol of France and so by doing what I did, I was standing up for Irish pride,” he said.
Mr Larkin had a previous conviction for setting fire to a tennis club shed in his teens, an incident from which he had earned the nickname Smokie.
In his summary, Judge Fergus O’Halloran said that what Mr Larkin had done was despicable and was also a threat to public hygiene.
“You did this without any thought to the consquences for the unfortunate shoppers who had to buy that bread.
“If it was in my power to recommend that you seek help for your alcohol addiction, I would do so and also suggest that you take some responsibility for your temper and inappropriate behaviour.
“We cannot have louts like yourself with half-baked ideas about national pride carrying out acts like this,” he said, before sentencing Larkin to six months in jail, suspended on condition he does not breach the peace for one year, fining €500 and ordering him to pay €1,000 to Michael Maher for the clean up of the bread shelf areas.