11 Aug 2022

Man needed more than €10,000 worth of dental treatment after Donegal assault

Four men fined a total of €30,000 and given suspended jail sentences

Donegal teenager awarded €19,000 for injuries sustained two years ago

A man needed more than €10,000 worth of dental treatment after being set upon by a gang waving planks of wood.
The row happened after two groups left the Arena 7 complex in Letterkenny.
Letterkenny Circuit Court heard that members of the group picked up timber and used them as weapons in two separate attacks on the other group who had left Arena 7 ahead of them.
The assaults took place after the groups left Arena 7 within minutes of each other. One man was struck on the head and left unconscious at Middle Road. Kerr and McDermott attacked two other men who had followed them when they fled and were in the process of updating gardaí on their location by phone.
The four who carried out the assaults appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court and were fined a total of €30,000 and all were given suspended jail sentences.
Darrell McDermott (25) of Cluain Ard, Letterkenny; Shane Kerr (25) of Slieve Snacht Close, Letterkenny, Daniel Patterson (26) of Fairgreen Hill, Letterkenny and Daniel Maymay (23) of Celtic Apartments, Letterkenny pleaded guilty to charges connected to an attack on a group of people at Middle Road and Orchard Grove, Letterkenny on August 30th, 2013.
Another group had also left Arena 7 and there were claims that a racist remark was made to Mr Maymay who is from the Philippines. This was later denied by the members of the other group.
The case had been adjourned for a year to see if the group of four accused would come to any further Garda attention.
Judge John Aylmer heard that members of the group picked up timber and used them as weapons in two separate attacks on the other group.
The victims denied claims that any racist remarks had been made at any stage.
Garda Fee said a female member of the group the four accused were in did not make that accusation that a racist comment had been made.
The garda said Maymay and others were able to say which member of the group they were accusing.
Gardaí said CCTV footage showed that Maymay ran over to confront the second group.
Garda Fee said CCTV showed the group before the assaults were “highly intoxicated and ready for action, ready to go”.
McDermott and Patterson approached the group and CCTV showed Kerr picking up a piece of timber.
The situation appeared to settle down but shortly after the group of the accused could be seen chasing after the first group. Three of the four were seen carrying what was described as fence posts.
Three of the group containing the accused ran into undergrowth and hid while another two fled the scene.
Gardaí and an ambulance were phoned and two of the group that was attacked followed two suspects to Orchard Road.
Kerr was seen holding a wooden post and Sean O Fearraigh was on phone to the garda station when they were attacked.
Kerr struck Liam McLaughlin on the head and he was knocked unconscious. John Kavanagh received a broken arm after being struck by a wooden post, an assault that Kerr and McDermott admitted to.
McDermott and Kerr fled to Ashlawn and were later arrested. Maymay and Patterson were located hiding in bushes and arrested.
Defence barrister for McDermott, Peter Nolan, said his client heard shouting from the other group which was aimed at Maymay.
“Something must have sparked the situation,” Mr. Nolan said. “It does not justify it, but it might explain to the court why.”
Kerr’s barrister Damian Crawford said he could not explain why he assaulted Mr. McLaughlin. “I wasn’t thinking. I don't know why I did it,” he told gardaí.
The group pleaded guilty to various charges of violent disorder, assault and possession of an offensive weapon. Kerr and McDermott also pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and Kerr admitted a further assault.
Sean O Fearraigh received a blow to the face with a wooden post which left him with serious injuries to his face and mouth included broken and missing teeth. He required dental work which cost €10,000. McDermott admitted to that assault.
The court was told that Maymay had been charged with road traffic matters and that Patterson had been involved in a public order situation but neither McDermott or Kerr had become involved in any further matters involving gardaí.
Judge Aylmer imposed suspended jail sentences on all four men and ordered all four to pay €7,500 in compensation each to the injured group.
A total of €10,000 was given to Sean O Fearraigh to cover dental treatment, a further €1,000 to Daire O'Donnell for another assault with the remainder to be divided evenly amongst the other victims.

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