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27 Nov 2021

Leitrim woman was punched three times and left with scar following assault

MLA asks Lord Chief Justice to review sentence in football hooligans' case

A young Aughawillan woman, who assaulted another young woman causing her harm, has been told to pay her €2,000 without prejudice to any other potential proceedings, at Carrick District Court.
23-year-old Cassie O’Donnell, Lisroughty, Aughawillan pleaded guilty to assaulting Sheila Brady causing her harm and to assaulting David Abbott at High Street, Ballinamore on August 17, 2019.
Mr Abbott did not want to make a statement, the court heard.
The court heard it was at the time of the Ballinamore Festival.


In a victim impact statement, Sheila Brady told the court that she was sitting in a bus with her friend when the defendant, who was along with another female, attacked her friend taking her off the bus.
The defendant punched her three times when she went to look out for her friend.
The victim said she did not know the defendant and had not seen her before.
The punches made her nose bleed, and she had a severe headache for about a week.
She had to go to A&E and there was a slight permanent scar on the side of her face.
The attack made her feel very vulnerable and was very wary of social situations.
It had also made her anxious and fearful.
The victim added that she had paid out €100 in medical expenses and had lost €700 as she missed six days work.
Inspector Michael Collins told the court the incident happened at 2.59 am as it was the time of the Ballinamore Festival.
The injured party and her friend were eating chips on the bus.
Two other females got on the bus and sat behind the victim and her friend.
There were raised voices.
The injured party got off the bus to see her friend who had got off the bus with the defendant.
The defendant hit her three times and she fell to the ground.
The defendant also attacked the bus driver, scraping his nose.
The defendant was drunk and the gardai were called.


Cassie O’Donnell said she did not remember much about the incident and apologised for the horrendous experience she had put the injured party through.
She said she did not remember how the incident came about.
The defendant was told she could be jailed for the assault on Miss Brady.
Judge Deirdre Gearty asked the defendant if she could pay the expenses of the injured party.
Ms O'Donnell said she could as she was working since July and was earning €300 per week and she was applying for other jobs.

Pleaded guilty to further charges

Meanwhile, the defendant also pleaded guilty to a charge that on a date between February 4 and 5 this year at 40 Lahard, Ballinamore, caused criminal damage by throwing various foodstuffs at Pauline Moran’s house.
She also pleaded guilty to a charge on February 17 this year, to causing criminal damage to the front window of Geraldine McDonagh at 4 Lahard, Ballinamore.
The defendant also pleaded guilty to a charge of causing criminal damage to the front windscreen of a car belonging to Pauline Moran at 40 Lahard, Ballinamore on February 17 this year.
Garda Jimmy Stenson told the court that the bill from Leitrim County Council for the repair of Geraldine McDonagh’s house came to €345.
Ms McDonagh, who was described as vulnerable person, was not able to come to court to give evidence as it would be too stressful.
A note from her care worker Mr John True Love said she was very upset at having her window broken and was afraid of being attacked again.
The court heard there were additional bills of €170 for power washing of Ms Moran’s home and €192 for repairing the windscreen of her car.
The defendant stated she had been at a friend’s house at the time of these other matters but had no great memory of them.
She said she had been in a “toxic relationship” with Ms Moran’s son for three years.
It was a very violent relationship especially when her ex-partner had drink taken.
She said she did not remember telling Geraldine McDonagh to “let her in to f**k”.
The defendant agreed to pay for all the damages she had caused and compensation to Miss Brady.


Defence Solicitor Martin Burke said relations between the defendant and Pauline Moran were not good.
The defendant had been in a relationship with Ms Moran’s son, and it had broken down.
The defendant would say she was subjected to a number of calls from her ex-partner which was the subject of a different circuit court matter, the court heard.
These incidents happened after the break-up and Ms Moran was taking her son’s side.
There was no love lost between the parties.
Mr Burke said the defendant was a “vulnerable” young woman as a result of her relationship with Ms Moran’s son and she ended up with injuries, but this did not excuse her actions.


Judge Gearty described the incident in Ballinamore as an “awful act of aggression”
The judge noted that a probation report said she was at a low risk of re-offending.
The judge said the assault in Ballinamore was so “horrendous” that another court could have been dealing with it.
Judge Gearty adjourned matters to March 15 for the compensation of €2000 to be paid to Ms Brady and a probation report with a view to a CSO.
The judge said the defendant showed “more displays of anger” in February of this year and she was to pay €750 in compensation and the judge ordered a probation report for these matters also.
Judge Gearty said the defendant could not come into court with her hands as long as each other and with no money.
“She should be here with money” adding she was staying with this case until its conclusion.

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