Incident during Pattern Festival causes ‘acute embarrassment’

Kilmallock Courthouse

Kilmallock Courthouse

  • by Aine Fitzgerald

A MAN who struck his ex-girlfriend in a nightclub after a hurtful comment was passed has been ordered to partake in an anger management course “to make sure that the next time he feels his blood rising that he keeps his hands by his side and learns to walk away”.

Declan O’Connell, 28, with an address at Ruppulagh, Glenroe was before Kilmallock Court charged with assault at Sharkey’s, Main Street, Ballylanders on August 16 last.

Sergeant Michelle Leahy of Bruff garda station told the court that on the date in question the injured party was attending the annual Pattern Festival in Ballylanders.

The court heard that the victim was in Sharkey’s disco after midnight when a verbal argument took place between herself and the defendant “and he struck her on the face cutting her just above the right eye”.

The court heard that the two individuals had been a couple previously but had broken up prior to the incident.

When asked by Judge Mary Larkin what the Pattern Festival was, solicitor for O’Connell, Brendan Gill, told the court that the festival would be “of religious origin”.

Mr Gill explained that the cut was caused to the victim’s eyebrow and steri-strips were used on the wound as full stitches were not required. Photographic evidence was produced in court.

Mr Gill explained that both parties would have consumed alcohol and added that his client accepted that he made contact with the injured party.

The court heard that the individuals had been in a relationship for about a year and a half but had broken up shortly prior to the incident “and were on good terms”.

Mr Gill explained that on the night in question “words were exchanged and a hurtful comment was passed”. He said his client apologised “profusely” for his actions. “He is somebody who is not of a violent disposition,” said Mr Gill.

The court heard that O’Connell is a qualified carpenter with “an excellent work history”.

“He is from a small area. This caused acute embarrassment,” said Mr Gill who added that his client “hadn’t set foot in Ballylanders since last August”.

Judge Mary Larkin said she would refer O’Connell to the probation services and pointed out that she wanted him to complete an anger management course and an alcohol awareness course. “I want to make sure that the next time he feels his blood rising that he keeps his hands by his side and learns to walk away,” she said before adjourning the case until October.


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