Two young men appeared before Galway District Court this week in the case of a serious assault that left another young man needing facial stitches.
Joe McDonagh (20) and Patrick Doyle (19) admitted to an assault on Eimhin O’Shaughnessy that took place in the city centre on the night of June 25, 2017.
The court heard that on the night in question Mr O’Shaughnessy, who was 17 at the time of the assault, had been at a friend’s home for an 18th birthday party that night.
At around 12:30am Mr O’Shaughnessy split off from the rest of his friends as they headed on to a nightclub since he was under 18 at the time.
Garda Moran gave evidence that while walking downtown Mr O’Shaughnessy stopped to urinate against the Post Office on Eglinton Street, and in the process accidentally got some urine on containers of alcohol belonging to the two defendants which they had left on the ground there.
The two men, who both have addresses at An Sean Bhaile, Doughiska, first assaulted Mr O’Shaugnessy on Eglinton Street according to Garda Moran.
He then attempted to get away, but the two men chased him down Shop Street where he was punched twice more Garda Moran said.
The injuries Mr O’Shaughnessy sustained required treatment at UHG where he needed stitches on his lip and below his mouth.
The next day the victim reported to gardaí that he had been the victim of an assault the night before.
Judge Mary Fahy said the contents of the medical report were “horrific” and displayed to the court a picture of Mr O’Shaughnessy’s condition which showed him with a severely swollen and bloodied face.
“It’s very serious to be assaulted by anyone, but when two people attack one person it’s not just serious it’s cowardly. Underhand and cowardly,” Judge Fahy said.
Mr O’Shaughnessy, who is now a 19 year old student at NUI Galway going into his second year in science, said that he still sometimes gets nervous when going into town on his own as a result of this assault.
The two defendants, who apparently had been drinking that night, said they had no memory of the incident the next morning.
They were told what happened by a third individual who knew both them and Mr O’Shaughnessy, though the victim and defendants did not personally know each other.
Joe McDonagh’s solicitor said that when his client was told what happened the next day he sent a message of apology to Mr O’Shaughnessy online.
The two defendants were cooperative with gardaí investigating this matter and accepted responsibility for what happened the court heard.
Both defendants brought money to the District Court to be offered as compensation to Mr O’Shaughnessy for his injuries.
Patrick Doyle had €500 in court with him, and Mr Doyle’s solicitor Olivia Traynor asked if the court would consider giving him more time to raise further compensation.
Judge Fahy asked Mr O’Shaughnessy if he would be willing to accept compensation from the two defendants, adding that she would be seeking a lot more than €500.
Joe McDonagh’s solicitor then added that his client had €2,000 in court with him, which Judge Fahy said was more in line with what she would be expecting from each defendant.
Mr O’Shaughnessy indicated that he would be willing to accept a sum of €2,000 from each of them.
However, Judge Fahy cautioned both of the defendants that “compensation or not” they could both be looking at a jail sentence if they don’t “rein themselves in”.
Both defendants offered apologies for their actions and the harm they caused through their solicitors, and when asked if he would accept these apologies Mr O’Shaughnessy responded “Not at the moment”.
Judge Fahy adjourned sentencing until December 9 for Garda Behavioural Reports and a further €1,500 in compensation to be paid by Mr Doyle.