Court hears case of gin glass attack in popular restaurant

Ennis courthouse
Ennis Courthouse

A 33-YEAR-old Limerick man, who punched a woman in the face with his fist after she struck him across the head with a gin glass in a pub row, this week escaped a criminal conviction.

At Killaloe District Court, sitting in Ennis, solicitor Tara Godfrey – for accused man Kenneth Nealon – said that what occurred in Flanagan’s On The Lake restaurant in Ballina, Co Tipperary, on June 13, 2021, “was an unmitigated disaster”.

Judge Alec Gabbett said: “The whole scene was a bit unseemly.”

In evidence, Garda Aine Troy told the court that after arriving at the scene at 12.30am, she spoke to Mr Nealon, of Hampsted Park, Shannon Banks, Corbally, Limerick, and said that he was irate.

Mr Nealon was being treated in an ambulance at the time, according to Garda Troy.

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Garda Troy said that Mr Nealon “informed me that an altercation had taken place”.

“He said that a girl called him a fat c**t and he told her he could lose the weight but she could not lose her fat nose and an altercation took place”.

Garda Troy continued: “I viewed the CCTV and it shows Mr Nealon strike the woman in the face with his fist after he was assaulted.”

Mr Nealon pleaded guilty to the assault of Amy Delaney (26), of Johnsboro, Mountrath, Co Laois. Judge Alec Gabbett imposed the Probation Act and ordered that he enter a €200 Probation Bond and be of good behaviour for the next two years.

In court earlier in April, Ms Delaney pleaded guilty to the assault causing harm of Mr Nealon. CCTV footage of the row was shown in court.

Ms Delaney also escaped a conviction after providing €1,000 compensation to Mr Nealon for the gin glass assault injury to Mr Nealon’s head, which required three surgical clips to be put in place over a two-centimetre laceration above his left ear.

On behalf of Mr Nealon, Ms Godfrey said: “My client apologises unreservedly. Unfortunately, there was drink all round, which is no excuse for anyone. My client doesn’t have previous convictions. He works in a factory and is desperate not to get a conviction.”

Ms Godfrey said: “He is pleading guilty to the Section 2 assault even though it did take us a while to come to that plea as he did have injuries. He had staples in his head and time off work.”

“He has received compensation through the courts from the lady who was the injured party in our case.”

Ms Godfrey said: “The State accepts my client was punched first and he punched back – he shouldn’t have punched back. Anyway the glass went through his head.”

“He didn’t cover himself in glory that night, but then again he had been injured himself.”

Ms Godfrey told the court that Mr Nealon wishes Ms Delaney no ill will.

“He really just wants to put this behind him,” she said.