prisonA North Clare man has been sentenced to four months in prison for what a Judge described as a “brutal” and unprovoked attack on the streets of Ennis last year.

John Paul Keating (21) with an address at 45 Rooska, Lisdoonvarna, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to a man at O’Connell Street, Ennis on April 8, 2012.

He also pleaded guilty to a separate assault at McGann’s Pub, Doolin on January 8, 2012. In relation to the assault on O’Connell Street, the court heard that the injured party was approached by the accused as he returned to his hotel.

The court heard the parties knew each other in a “peripheral way.”

Insp Tom Kennedy told the court that Mr Keating shouted at the injured party, saying “I know you from Ballyvaughan.” He said the accused followed the injured party, pulled him by the shirt and punched him in the face three times.

Medical reports handed into the court showed that the victim suffered significant damage to his mouth.

The court heard that the man had been left with dental bills of almost €2000.

The man also required stitches to his ear and nose.

Insp Kennedy said Mr Keating has no previous convictions.

Defence solicitor Tara Godfrey said her client had been “terribly drunk” on the night in question and had no memory of what happened. She said Mr Keating had taken steps to deal with his drinking.

She said her client apologises unreservedly. Ms Godfrey urged the court not to impose a custodial sentence.

Judge Patrick Durcan said an innocent man had been the victim of a “brutal attack” and had been “viciously assaulted.”

He said Mr Keating’s behaviour on the night was of a “most appalling nature.”

He said the fact that Mr Keating was “filled with booze” and had no memory of the assault “compounds the incident.”

He said no effort had been made to pay compensation to the injured party. Judge Durcan imposed a four-month prison sentence. Recogances were fixed in the event of an appeal.

Mr Keating also pleaded guilty to head butting a man in McGann’s pub in Doolin on January 8, 2012. The court heard that Mr Keating had assaulted a man after being involved in a heated argument with a woman.

Judge Durcan said it was appalling that a citizen in a public place should be subjected to an unprovoked assault. He fined Mr Keating €250 and barred him from entering McGann’s pub for 12 months.

For more see the court pages of The Clare People or visit our Digital Edition.

Leave a Reply