Who cares about my 69-year driving ban? I've a horse outside
A Dublin criminal serving a 69-year driving ban turned into an internet sensation overnight after a video of him riding a horse through a Dublin pub went viral.
Footage of a man riding the horse in the Cabra House was posted on a number of social media sites and has since been viewed hundreds of thousands of times.
The Herald can reveal that the amateur jockey is in fact career criminal Robert 'Bob' Hosey (50), who was last year given a 69-year driving ban.
Hosey, who has more than 50 previous convictions, was captured on camera riding the horse through the north Dublin pub as punters egged him on.
Filmed last Saturday night, it shows locals cheering as he makes his way through the bar before passing out of a door on to the street.
On one Facebook page alone the video has been viewed more than 250,000 times.
Before his new-found internet fame, Hosey was more familiar in criminal circles and was a prominent mourner at the funeral of Eamon 'The Don' Dunne.
Only last year, Hosey was handed a 69-year driving ban after being convicted of driving without insurance for the 14th time.
He was also given a five-month custodial sentence, with his own solicitor stating there was not much he could say apart from the fact that Hosey should not have been driving.
Asking why he drove again while uninsured, the judge said: "Why does he continue driving, knowing that if he is caught there is only one place he is going?"
Hosey's solicitor said he "very stupidly agreed to drop the van to his brother-in-law".
Hosey was also previously given a suspended sentence after being involved in a violent brawl which erupted shortly before a man was shot dead.
Eamon O'Reilly (25) was shot dead at point-blank range following a pub row in January 1998.
His brother, Brian O'Reilly, who carried the coffin at Eamon Dunne's funeral, was present during the incident and was later convicted of violent disorder, along with Hosey. They received suspended sentences.
Speaking on 98FM's Dublin Talks earlier this week about the viral video, John Carmody, of the Animal Rights Action Network (ARAN), voiced his anger and expressed his concern over the horse's welfare.
"This is no laughing matter. It was mortifying, embarrassing and downright disrespectful to that poor creature," he told host Adrian Kennedy.
"For the most part, anyone that has a horse in those communities says they love their horse. This has gone beyond a joke."
However, many callers were quick to say they had no issue with the video.
One man said he knew the owner and claimed the horse had won a race earlier that day in Co Meath.
"He is always looking after that horse. There is no cruelty there," he said.