A COUNTY Limerick man who struck another man with a hurley – fracturing his skull – will spend Christmas at home despite receiving a lengthy prison sentence.
Jeremiah Morey, aged 29, who has an address at Coonagh Court, Doon has been ordered to present himself at Limerick Prison next month where to serve a two-year sentence for his role in the incident which happened on June 7, 2013.
During a sentencing hearing in October, Limerick Circuit Court was told a row over the sale of a Chihuahua pup resulted in a vicious brawl between two semi-naked women near the entrance to Doon CBS primary school.
Detective Garda Mike Reidy said there had been tensions between Morey and the victim – Gerard Hennessy – for around a year prior to the incident after a puppy which was bought by the defendant died.
Judge Tom O’Donnell was told there were chaotic scenes when the “savage fight” erupted shortly after 9.10am. A short time earlier Morey, who has 53 previous convictions, threw a rock at Mr Hennessy’s car - smashing the rear window.
When Sharon Beary, who witnessed the incident, went to confront the defendant, a fight broke out between her and Morey’s partner, Kathleen Stickle.
“The two women ended up rolling on the ground in a brawl,” said Det Garda Reidy, who said Ms Stickle had almost all of her clothes removed during the fight while Ms Beary was also semi-naked.
Morey, the detective said, was acting as a “referee” when Mr Hennessy tried to intervene.
As he did so the defendant struck him across the back of the head with a child’s hurley which had been left on a green area in the estate.
While he initially went home, Mr Hennessy was later transferred to hospital where a CT scan showed he had sustained lacerations and a fracture to the base of his skull.
Brian McInerney BL, defending, said there was an “unhappy history” between the parties and that events on the morning had unfolded in a “most bizarre” fashion.
Imposing sentence, Judge O’Donnell described the offence as a “cowardly unprovoked assault” which involved the use of a weapon and the infliction of a serious injury.
While accepting that there have been no further difficulties between the parties he commented that he has mixed views about the defendant’s apology.
The judge imposed a three year prison sentence, suspending the final year for four years.
However, after being informed that Mr Morey recently suffered a family bereavement and that his partner has just given birth to a baby, he ordered that the sentence not commence until January 18.