Author Topic: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.  (Read 415 times)

Offline watty

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Man explains his transformation from addict to family man to win taxi licence appeal

While seated on the pews in the wood-panelled interior of Bandon Courthouse a few days ago, redemption arrived. Brian Hogan was back at the wheel.

The 39-year-old was cleared to receive a public service vehicle (PSV) licence, after successfully appealing against an earlier decision, by Chief Supt Con Cadogan, to refuse his application under the Taxi Regulation Act — specifically, that he was a right and proper person.

To win, Mr Hogan had to take to the stand to explain exactly where his life had been, and how it had now taken him from sledgehammers through doors and the pounding monotony of addiction to a new existence as a family man seeking to serve the community.

But, first, the background.

Chief Supt Cadogan told Judge James McNulty that he had received Mr Hogan’s application on January 8, explaining how the powers to grant the licence have been devolved to officers of his rank, under the Taxi Regulation Act.

He told the judge that section 10 of the act sets out the various conditions that must be met, including the applicant’s suitability to be granted a licence and any previous convictions that may be of relevance.

“I gave it serious consideration,” the chief supt said. He refused the application and returned it on March 20.

Brian Hogan had not hidden any previous convictions. Written down on the form was a conviction from November 6, 2009, at Ennis District Court — aggravated burglary — for which he had received a two-year suspended sentence. A year earlier, he had been convicted for unlawful possession of drugs, at Ennistymon District Court. A decade before that, he had received the Probation Act, for intoxication and threatening and abusive behaviour in Ennis.

Mr Hogan admitted to all, but said in relation to the burglary, there were “mitigating circumstances”, and he replied ‘no’ to the question of having any addictions and admitted he attended counselling.

Chief Supt Cadogan had trawled the records in relation to the aggravated burglary. At 2am on August 8, 2009, Hogan and two others entered an apartment block in Ennis, allegedly seeking a male who had earlier robbed two elderly people, with a view to retrieving those items.

“They went to the wrong apartment and the sledgehammer was used to put in the door,” Chief Supt Cadogan said. Finding the right apartment, the man they were seeking was not there. The court heard the apartment in question was frequented by drug addicts and Judge McNulty noted that, given a conviction a year earlier, Mr Hogan “was not in a position to be chastising others.”

Brian Hogan took the stand and said he had had a serious drink-and-drug problem from the age of 14 through to when he hit 30. The apartment-block incident, he said, was to retrieve what had been stolen from people he knew, an elderly couple who had been tied up by someone he also knew. “My motives were right, my actions were wrong,” he said.

Not long after all this, Brian Hogan sought help. First, he went to the Rutland Centre, in Dublin, and then, after a few months, he moved to Fellowship House, in Cork, part of the Tabor Group. “When I went in there, my life turned around,” he told the judge.

That is possibly an understatement. His last drink was St Patrick’s Day, 2010. So successful was his stint at Fellowship House, and then, afterwards, at Sober House, that, in an unusual move, they gave him a job as a groundsman. He stayed there for four-and-a-half years.

Now married with children, he said he can’t work on building sites any more and so set about acquiring a taxi licence. He has a job sorted since before last Christmas. He regularly attends his AA meetings and spent €1,000 on getting the licence. “I turned my life around,” he said. “All I am waiting on is the clearance.”

Sgt Paul Kelly queried why he had written ‘no’ to the question about persistent misuse of alcohol or any drug dependency.

Mr Hogan said: “That was my life 10 years ago. When I signed that thing, I don’t class myself as an alcoholic or a drug addict anymore.” He said he had a problem, but not an ongoing addiction.

As for the sledgehammer incident, he admitted, at the time, to trying to take the law into his own hands, something he regretted in hindsight.

“I was in a totally different frame of mind,” he said. He’d also drunk a bottle of whiskey that day. There was no intention to rob anyone, he said, but to have what was robbed returned.

The judge asked Mr Hogan his views on An Garda Siochána and the work they do now. He reassured the judge: “They have a job to do and I respect that.” Could the gardaí count on him going forward? the judge asked. “If I can help, I will help,” he replied.

Then, Audrey Cullen, an addiction counsellor, previously with Fellowship House and now in private practice, took the stand.

She said that by the time she met Brian, on March 23, 2010, he was already showing “huge progress and, in fairness to him, he has never turned back.

He got an extended stay at Sober House, adding that he was “an asset on our own team.”

It was “fairly unprecedented” — “normally, we wouldn’t lean at all on clients” — and not everyone who enters Fellowship House progresses to Sober House. His extended stay became a job and he is still in very regular contact with the staff there, which Ms Cullen said was “fairly unusual.”

“He is so reliable, so dependable,” she told the court, adding that entry to Sober House meant having to be “sober of body and sober of mind.”

“He has been that for the past nine years,” she said. “He comes back to gratitude meetings religiously, every month.

“Addiction is not curable, but it is arrestable,” she said.

As for his negative response to questions about drink-and-drug dependency, she said: “When you are in recovery, you are not an active addict any more.”

It was left to Judge McNulty to effectively rule on whether or not Brian Hogan had more road left in him.

He commended the work of the chief supt and said he understood entirely the objections that had been raised.

“He is doing what society would expect him to do,” the judge said of the senior garda.

That professional decision was made in good faith, he continued, but, in every civilised society, there is the right to appeal and Brian Hogan had availed of it.

Those previous convictions were 10 years ago and more. “The court must acknowledge all that has been said by Brian Hogan and on his behalf,” Judge McNulty said.

“The conclusion of the court is that this man has made a commendable and sustained recovery from serious addiction that affected him as a teenager and a young man.”


Among those watching this unfold was a young man earlier convicted of offences, including possession of cocaine, and about whom a report had been provided to court, outlining concerns that he may be prone to developing a drug dependency.

His father was seated beside him, everything sinking in that there might be another way.

Outside, later on, the solicitor common to both cases said, “I’m glad he was there to hear that.”

As for Brian Hogan, Judge McNulty said: “He has a history not only of recovery, but a history, after recovery, of giving back and coming back, giving back to others in addiction and coming back with an attitude of gratitude for recovery.

“This is a day for celebrating his rehabilitation, his recovery, and his redemption. The court will be allowing his appeal.”


And with that, Brian Hogan, no longer of Ennis, Co Clare, but now with an address in Kinsale, Co Cork, was finally back on the right road.

Offline john m

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2019, 08:27:08 PM »
FOR FUCK SAKE .Big Dommo is letting on to be dead just to avoid 6 days in the Joy for not having a TV Licence .

Offline silverbullet

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2019, 09:55:53 PM »
No licence issued according to our records.

Offline The Liffey Lip

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #3 on: April 10, 2019, 07:24:34 AM »
Active versus passive addiction.........that's a new one for the pc vocab. Learn something new every day.

Offline Mr phooey

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #4 on: April 10, 2019, 08:48:42 AM »
Once an addict.... Always an addict...
There is no such ting as rehabilitation...
Heroin turn brain into evil cunt for life....
The leopard doesn't change his spots.....
But he can paint over them and call himself a pussey cat.... But he's still a cunt

Offline dalymount

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #5 on: April 10, 2019, 02:07:51 PM »
Totally disagree with you phooy

Offline Rat Catcher

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2019, 02:26:10 PM »
No licence issued according to our records.

Won't appear in our database until/unless he's linked to a vehicle on TfI Driver Check application.

Offline Mr phooey

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #7 on: April 10, 2019, 02:33:17 PM »
Totally disagree with you phooy
Heroin changes brain chemically, physically for life. .. Have ya ever seen the junkies in town.... They all have that same jeremy kyle contestant look in the eye....
Selfish sociopathic cnuts rob their own mother.... I've never met a reformed addict... An undercover sleeper cnut yes....
Still it's a good topic for debate all the same daily

Offline Admin

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Re: 39y.o. ex-addict, ex-everything gets taxi licence. A happy ending.
« Reply #8 on: April 10, 2019, 03:05:28 PM »
No licence issued according to our records.

Won't appear in our database until/unless he's linked to a vehicle on TfI Driver Check application.

Unless the Licence number has an A prefix and is greater than 9,999.

 


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