A DISTRICT Court Judge has described three assaults during a local festival last year as ‘stupid stuff of the highest order fuelled by drink’, after it left someone with a permanent scar on his face.
Judge Mary Dorgan made the comment in relation to three defendants who all pleaded guilty to assault and engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words at a recent sitting of Bandon District Court. The court was told that while there were three separate incidents, all three would be heard together.
Shane Buckley (29) of Bellrose Cottage, Crossbarry was charged with assaulting Darragh Looney at O’Hara’s Bar, Bandon on June 3rd last and was also charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace. He also faced an additional charge of assaulting Darragh Looney causing him harm at North Main Street on June 4th.
Sarah Buckley of 12 Barr na Claise, Innishannon was charged with also assaulting Darragh Looney at O’Hara’s Bar, Bandon on the same date and also charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
Darragh Looney (21) of 22 Oliver Plunkett Street, Bandon was charged with assaulting Shane Buckley at O’Hara’s Bar, Bandon on June 3rd last and was also charged with engaging in threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour with intent to provoke a breach of the peace.
Insp Pat Meany said that on June 3rd last Shane Buckley was out socialising during the Bandon Festival and while in O’Hara’s Bar he met Darragh Looney and words were exchanged.
‘There was a previous dispute over a game of pool a few weeks before that night. Darragh Looney admits to throwing punches at Shane Buckley who made an allegation that a bottle was used, which Darragh Looney denied,’ said Insp Meany.
Outside the bar, Darragh Looney was then approached by Shane’s sister, Sarah Buckley, who threw a few clouts at him for striking her brother. Later that night outside De Barra’s Bar, Darragh Looney was approached by Shane Buckley and it is alleged he attacked Darragh Looney with a glass in his hand.
‘It is alleged Shane Buckley struck Darragh Looney into the face with a glass resulting in him having to get nine stiches to his face,’ he said.
Insp Meany said Shane Buckley admits the offence but said he didn’t intend to hit him with a glass.
Solicitor Diarmuid O’Shea, representing Darragh Looney said his client admits there was some ‘hoo-ha’ about a game of pool previously and that they got stuck into each other.
‘He acknowledges he did punch Shane Buckley in O’Hara’s Bar and then left the scene.
However he now has a permanent scar on the right hand side of his face after the assault outside De Barra’s Bar,’ said Mr O’Shea. Insp Meany said Darragh Looney was under a probation bond when this incident occurred.
Judge Mary Dorgan said that Darragh Looney had plenty of sympathy from the courts over the years and convicted him and sought a probation report adjourning the case until April 20th.
Shane Buckley told the court the background to his dealings with Darragh Looney which had occurred in another bar weeks previously when he was playing pool. He said that Darragh Looney came in and started making smart comments and calling him names.
‘I didn’t know him and he started shouting abuse at me and he went for me and we were asked to leave the bar,’ said Mr Buckley. ‘In O’Hara’s Bar then on June 3rd we started fighting in the toilet and he struck me with a bottle and I had injuries.’
Shane Buckley said later that night while coming out of De Barra’s Bar they saw Mr Looney coming down the street and he started shouting abuse and said he was going to get Shane’s sister.
‘We went at each other and someone tried to separate us and I went to punch him not realising I had a glass in my hand,’ said Mr Buckley.
‘I’m truly sorry for what happened and I didn’t mean it.’ However, Darragh Looney spoke in court and said that he now has a scar on his face, which Shane Buckley apologised for.
A letter written by Shane Buckley’s girlfriend was handed into Judge Dorgan which stated that Shane had made a stupid mistake and that he wasn’t thinking that night.
Judge Dorgan told both defendants ‘to keep a respectful distance from each other’ in the future and convicted Shane Buckley on all three charges and also sought a probation report before finalisation.
The third defendant, Sarah Buckley, told the court that she saw her brother Shane and Darragh Looney arguing at the bar and she saw that Shane had a mark on his head with blood coming out and he told her what happened.
‘I walked up to Darragh Looney and hit him on the face and I’m sorry for doing that,’ said Sarah Buckley.
Judge Dorgan also convicted Sarah Buckley and sought a probation report.
‘This was stupid stuff of the highest order fuelled by drink,’ she said.