A man who was punched to the back of the head, and then repeatedly kicked on the ground, only managed to escape when he stumbled into the doorway of a business, Galway District Court heard.
In imposing a seven-month suspended prison sentence on the defendant, Judge Mary Fahy said that it had been a very vicious assault, and would have been a lot worse if members of the public had not held him back.
Derek Rigney (30), with an address at 111 Castlepark, Ballybane, pleaded guilty to the serious assault at Cross Street on June 13 last year. The injured party had suffered a broken arm, and needed five stitches above his right eye.
Sergeant Paul Duane said that the incident took place at 3.15am, and that Rigney fled the scene after onlookers came to the aid of the injured man when he staggered in the door of Supermac’s.
He was subsequently arrested, however, and taken to Galway Garda Station.
Solicitor, Valerie Corcoran, told the court that her client had no previous convictions for assault, and was in full-time employment.
She said that he rarely went out drinking, as alcohol did not suit him, and that had been was a ‘history’ with the victim in this case.
“He is sorry that the victim suffered injuries, but something just went off when words or comments were made,” she said.
The solicitor offered €1,950 in compensation, which the injured party (36) was willing to accept.
The court heard that Rigney had 18 previous convictions, mainly for public order offences.
“He’s looking at a custodial sentence, of a reasonable length, but I want to be convinced that he won’t be before the court again,” the Judge told Ms Corcoran.
She replied that her client was currently in counselling to deal with anger management issues, along with the break-up of his parents’ relationship, alcohol abuse, and the loss of friends through suicide.
“He works hard, but alcohol doesn’t suit him,” she said.
“He is on the breadline, in relation to his income; he couldn’t get a bank loan, so he had to save (the compensation).”
The Judge imposed a seven-month sentence, which was suspended for two years on condition that he is of good behaviour during that period, and have no contact with the injured party or his family by any means.
Gardaí issue warning on ‘movie money’
Gardaí have warned of an increase in ‘novelty’ euro notes – which are almost identical to real currency – in circulation.
The notes are usually marked ‘movie money’ or ‘prop money’, but this can often go unnoticed by the person handling it. They do not have any security features.
Revenue Officers have seized notes in varying denominations representing a value of €430,895 in recent mail centre detections.
Detective Superintendent Michael Cryan of the Garda National Economic Crime Bureau said: “People need to be aware that such notes exist and at busy times, especially late at night, they need to exercise a little care and attention.
“These notes are easily identifiable if precautionary checks are made. Also people who try to tender such notes as real face prosecution, a possible prison sentence and a conviction, which is for life. Such convictions have serious ramifications if one wanted to travel, to work in certain sectors and it can affect their credit rating”.
“We advise businesses and members of the public who deal in cash to be aware that such notes are in circulation and take appropriate precautionary measures. Business owners should ensure staff members handling cash are alerted to watch out for these fraudulent notes.
“The use of fraudulent currency when trying to purchase goods or services is an offence under the Criminal Justice (Theft and Fraud Offences) Act 2001 and carries a potential prison sentence of 10 years.
“These fraudulent notes should not be accepted as legal tender and any incidents of persons trying to pay with “prop money” should be reported to Gardaí immediately,” said Det Supt Cryan.
Fire at site of former Corrib Great Southern Hotel
Emergency services are at the scene of a large fire at the site of the former Corrib Great Southern Hotel which broke out in the early hours of this morning.
Four units of the Galway Fire and Rescue Service were called to the former hotel near GMIT at 5.45am. A unit from Athenry is also in attendance at the scene.
Fire fighters are maintaining a presence at the derelict hotel, which has been the scene of a number of arson attacks over the past number of years.
Three refused bail on violent disorder charges
Three men who were arrested this morning as part of a Garda investigation into violent disorder at a funeral in Mervue last year, have been denied bail by a District Court Judge.
Denis Hannafin, Curry; Robbie Hannafin, Corboy, Edgeworthstown and Tommy Hannafin, Dublin Road – all in Longford – were charged with violent disorder in connection with an incident which occurred outside Holy Family funeral home on in January 13 last year.
Detective Garda Ronan Leonard told the court this morning that CCTV footage showed a number of members of the Hannafin family outside the funeral home on January 13, 2019, at approximately 3.15pm, when a number of members of the McGinley family made their way towards them.
An altercation ensued, which resulted in one member of the McGinley family suffering a gunshot wound, while another received a stab wound to the back. A third man suffered acid wounds.
Gardaí explained that there is a feud going on between the two families, which began when juvenile members of the families got into a fight at a pool hall.
Detective Leonard voiced concerns that if the three accused were granted bail, they would commit further offences and intimidate members of the McGinley family.
Judge Seamus Hughes had remanded the three accused in custody to Harristown District Court next Friday, February 28.