Limerick judge urged not to jail ‘bite’ student

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

The incident happened at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel
A LIMERICK student who bit off part of another young man’s ear during a night out two years ago has offered to pay €7,500 in compensation.

A LIMERICK student who bit off part of another young man’s ear during a night out two years ago has offered to pay €7,500 in compensation.

Daniel O’Connell, aged 24, who has an address at Old Cratloe Road pleaded guilty to “recklessly or intentionally” causing serious harm to Donal Ryan (22), at the Kilmurry Lodge Hotel on October 12, 2011.

During a sentencing hearing, Garda Ray Liston said the assault happened at around 1.05am during a confrontation on the dance floor at the hotel’s nightclub.

Judge Carroll Moran was told that bouncers witnessed Mr Ryan arguing with two other men and that before they could be separated Mr O’Connell had “locked” onto his ear - biting off a “substantial portion” as they were being separated.

Garda Liston said all three men had been drinking on the night and that alcohol had been a factor.

He added that the incident appeared to have been sparked by a row between Mr Ryan and another man over his ex-girlfriend.

Judge Moran was told that following the incident, attempts to reattach the ear were unsuccessful.

In a victim impact statement, Mr Ryan, who is from County Mayo, said his life had changed forever after the assault and that he has lost confidence as a result his appearance.

Anthony Sammon SC said his client, who is a fourth-year student at LIT, accepted it was “nasty, nasty, nasty behavior and should not have happened”.

He said he has raised €7,500 as a “significant down payment” and that he hopes to raise further compensation once he secures employment after finishing his studies.

He commented that the former Liverpool striker Luis Suarez had not been jailed for biting an opposing player during this summer’s World Cup and he said in rugby circles having a cauliflower ear is often regarded as a “badge of honour”.

John O’Sullivan BL, prosecuting, reacted angrily to Mr Sammon’s submissions saying it was “quite inappropriate to bring rugby into the case”.

Judge Moran adjourned sentencing to October 28, next.