Auctioneer beats up bidder at Irish sheep sale
Beaten man complained  sheep sold too quickly
 By Cathal Dervan

A 28-year-old Donegal auctioneer beat up a sheep farmer who accused of bringing his hammer down too quickly on the sale of three sheep.

Declan Robinson from the Downings village in County Donegal has been convicted of assaulting the farmer, Paul Hegarty, at Bonagee Mart outside Letterkenny.

The local District Court charged Robinson with assaulting Hegarty after the victim accused him of ending the bidding process for the three sheep before Hegarty could make an offer.

Garda Peter Ryan told the court that CCTV video football showed Robinson punching and kicking Hegarty at will. Over 30 punches and a number of kicks landed on Hegarty.

A hospital report to the Court stated that the victim ended up with a swollen skull, two black eyes, a broken tooth and a number of face lacerations.

Robinson’s solicitor Carrie Hegarty told the court that the attack was the result of the altercation at the mart when her namesake accused the auctioneer of: “Bringing down the auctioneer’s hammer on the sale of three sheep before he could bid on them.”

She added that her client had never been in trouble before, was involved in charity fund raising and had once raised over $80,000 for charity during a ‘crazy’ auction.

Shortly after the crazy auction in question, Robinson lost his job at Bonagee Mart and has yet to find new employment.

Judge Paul Kelly took a dim view of the assault on the sheep farmer and warned Robinson that he viewed it as a violent assault considering the number of punches thrown.

“Irrespective of the provocation, there was a lot to this. He punched him between 30 and 40 times. This was a violent assault,” said Judge Kelly who adjourned the case until June 13th.

The judge has ordered a community service report to see if Robinson is ‘suitable to serve 80 hours community service’ but he warned the accused that he could face a heavier penalty.


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