Limerick farmer assaulted men who approached his land

Solicitor Darach McCarthy: 'He didn't react well. He can't apologise enough'
a CLARINA farmer assaulted two people who approached his land within the space of a month, causing injury to one man in his 60s.

a CLARINA farmer assaulted two people who approached his land within the space of a month, causing injury to one man in his 60s.

Limerick District Court heard that Stephen Holland, 40, with an address at Corcanee, Clarina, assaulted a van driver who parked at the entrance to his property on September 8 last.

The driver had pulled in to the side of the road to get a cup of tea from his flask before returning to Kerry.

When he saw Holland approaching, he rolled down his window to apologise, but the defendant told him that he would have reason to be sorry, reached into the car and struck him several times in the face.

The victim quickly pulled away from the scene and called the gardai.

In the second incident on September 28, in which he was charged with assault causing harm, members of a regional coursing club were walking towards his farm to get to another property.

The group of up to 12 men had permission to cross the land of another farm to capture hares for an upcoming coursing event, when Holland saw them approaching near a right of way, and some of the men were carrying sticks.

His defence, solicitor Darach McCarthy, said this was an unusual sight and an unusual incident but accepted his client “didn’t react well”.

Holland threw one of the men - a 65 year-old - up against a stone wall, injuring his right shoulder.

Mr McCarthy said the seriousness of the offence was at the lower end of the Section 3 (assault causing harm) scale.

“He can’t apologise enough for what he did. He acted inappropriately.

“His life revolves around his small holding of land. He’s a single man who lives close to his parents, and is receiving counselling for anger management,” Mr McCarthy told the court.

The defendant has 20 previous convictions, including charges for dangerous driving, which was reduced to careless driving, assault, and public order offences. Judge Marian O’Leary adjourned the case to June 10 to receive a report on his progress from the anger management group.