There are a few points to be made about this story, and I honestly don't know how I feel about any of them.
Anyway, it seems that a young man got pissed and slagged off a Guard. Did he do so because of a deep and abiding mistrust of authority? It seems not. Apparently, it was because the poor Guard happened to be from Mayo. It further seems that aforementioned Guard, with admirable loyalty to his home county, took umbrage with these remarks, and so it is that we hear in the court record about being told to "Fuck off back to Mayo". This is fairly unambiguous. Less so is the epithet "Mayo wanker". Are all people from Mayo wankers? Does this particular member of An Garda Síochána stand out by being one of the few wankers from Mayo? We may never know. Those of us in the Capital have only Enda Kenny to serve as a basis for judgement, and I doubt that's fair on the rest of the county. The ginger tosser.
More fascinating than the onanistic habits of our Mayo brethren, though, is the sentence. Being told to climb Croagh Patrick and say a few prayers? Really? In the twenty-first fucking century?
However, it's not necessarily a bad thing. This guy got drunk and told a guard to fuck off; hardly the stuff criminals are made of and prison, or even a fine, would've been over the top. If he can get away with a walk up a mountain, then all is well. Let us not forget, though, that during pilgrimage season there are ample opportunities for "where is your god now" comments as myriad holy joes (and josephines) are injured in the ascent every year.
And he has to say a few prayers, too. This is the dubious bit. You'd really think the judge would know better. Fortunately, he doesn't seem to have specify the recipient of these prayers. Should our friend bring a camcorder to the top of the hill and film himself imploring Satan to smite his enemies, then mission accomplished. I personally would prefer a prayer to Thor, entreating him to save us all from Thanos. But that's just me.
I suspect that in the days to come the Irish Times will be replete with letters from angry, bolshy atheists, and equal numbers from those who say "ah, sure, what's the harm?". Both sides will have a point, which should make it really interesting.