Ireland's Eye - A round up of top Irish news stories


Scorned Man Attacks

A MAN who “spent a considerable amount of money” on a lady during a night out in Dingle assaulted the woman's boyfriend out of sheer frustration and jealousy when he showed up out of the blue.

Czech national Ales Soukup, of Dingle, pleaded guilty to assaulting James O'Malley and fracturing his cheekbone last May. However, his solicitor argued that he did so because he was upset at having spent the previous hour and a half buying drinks for O'Malley's girlfriend.

Soukup's solicitor told Dingle District Court that his client “struck a blow out of exasperation,” and that this was completely out of character. He said the defendant was surprised and confused when O'Malley showed up claiming to be the woman's boyfriend, and was annoyed that he had spent a lot of money on her prior to that.

"He was speaking to this lady and she requested he buy her drinks and he did so, and spent a considerable amount of money," solicitor Frank O'Connor said. "About an hour and a half later the injured party arrived and my client was very surprised and very upset and reacted very badly."

He said that Soukup claimed O'Malley pushed him in the pub and “treated him in a disdainful manner,” but accepts that his reaction was completely out of order.

The court was told that O'Malley suffered a fractured cheekbone that incurred medical expenses of €400 and was also out of work for three weeks.

Having examined photos of O'Malley's injuries, Judge James O'Connor commented that Soukup left him in “a fair mess.”

He ordered that Soukup pay O'Malley €1,000 in damages and adjourned the case for two months to allow the state time to verify medical expenses and claims by O'Malley that he was out of work for three weeks.
- The Kerryman

Flying the Flag

A TOWN council meeting was suspended before it actually started on a recent Tuesday afternoon when a councilor demanded the Irish Tricolor be raised above the building.

Prior to the start of the monthly town council meeting in Bundoran, Councilor Dermot Doherty of Sinn Fein demanded that the meeting be suspended until the Tricolor was raised on the building.

Doherty said, “I object to this meeting starting until the Tricolor is flying over this building and propose that the meeting be suspended for 10 minutes until the Tricolor is flown.”

The proposal was seconded by Councilor Florence Doherty.  Members of the council staff made arrangements to have the Tricolor raised, and once this happened the meeting got underway.

Denise Connolly commented that there were Tricolors flying around Bundoran morning, noon and night and that proper protocol should be observed with the flags taken down at sunset.
- Donegal Democrat

Belligerent Boxer

A HIGH ranking boxing official has avoided jail for head-butting a man after an amateur exhibition bout.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring had previously told Kieran O'Neill, 37, that she was “most likely” going to jail him after hearing he had five previous convictions including two for assault.

However, she took into account his guilty plea and €1,500 compensation he had for the victim and imposed a suspended three year term.

The judge warned O'Neill that he will serve “every day of those three years” if he re-offends.

She told the man that he had “disgraced himself, his family and the general community” by displaying “uncontrollable violence” in front of an international contingent of boxers.

O'Neill who is involved at a “very high level” in the Irish Amateur Boxing Association, assaulted his former best friend outside the pub which hosted the series of fights between Welsh and Irish boxers.

The former boxer, who is also the head coach at Balbriggan's Bracken Boxing Club, was one of the main organizers of the event.

O'Neill pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Derek Gildea at the Milestone Bar in Balbriggan on January 29, 2010.

Garda Ciara Mannion told prosecuting counsel James Dwyer BL that Gildea was attending the exhibition match upstairs in the pub when O'Neill approached him and told him he wasn't welcome, that he was barred and that he should f*** off.

His defense counsel said he was held in very high regard in the boxing community and that people were “queuing up” to give character references.

Several testimonials were handed in, including one from Olympic gold medal winning boxer Michael Carruth.

O'Neill has five previous convictions, including two for assault, one for intimidating a witness and one for making threats.

Ring commented that in light of his previous convictions, the attack did not seem very “out of character.”  She said that he had been treated leniently by the other courts and that the alternatives have not worked.
- Fingal Independent

Buckling Pets

IRISH pet shop chain Petmania, which has a branch in Tullamore, has come out in support of Minister for Transport Leo Varadkar’s stance that dogs should be restrained in their seat when in a vehicle to protect themselves and other passengers in the car.