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.

Marketing manager for Petmania Emily Miller said, “We definitely endorse Mr. Varadkar’s proposal for restraining dogs while traveling, and actively encourage dog owners to use seat restraints or carriers even if it’s not been brought into law that they must do so. It is in everyone’s interest, including the dog’s, to ensure everyone reaches their destination safely when traveling, and restraints for traveling dogs are part of this.”

Reiterating the ISPCA’s chief executive Noel Griffin comment that unrestrained dogs in a car can act as a missile when in an accident, Miller added that “while we encourage pet owners to take their dogs out and about with them, we also acknowledge that dogs can become excited or agitated while traveling which can easily distract a driver, so anything that can be done to reduce this risk should be done.”
- Westmeath Independent

Bridge Recalls Gay Bashing

DUBLIN City Council is to consider a request to name a Northside bridge after a man who was killed in a gay bashing 31 years ago.

A proposal has been put before the council to consider dedicating the name of the new Fairview footbridge to 31-year-old gay man Declan Flynn.

Flynn’s death in 1982 sparked widespread condemnation and prompted the first gay pride festival.

A recommendation was put before the council on April 8 calling for the footbridge in Fairview to be named the Declan Flynn Memorial Bridge. The proposal is the brainchild of local councilor Damian O’Farrell, who believes it would be a fitting tribute to name the revamped footbridge after a man whose death shaped a movement in Ireland’s history.

Flynn was beaten to death in Fairview Park on September 9, 1982, by five teenagers because he was homosexual.

The gang had been responsible for a spate of attacks in previous weeks and it emerged that they used the park to target members of the gay community.

Flynn, who was an Aer Rianta worker, was attacked as he tried to flee. He had earlier been drinking with a friend in Belton’s Pub in Donnycarney, minutes from his home.

He was in the park when the vicious attack took place. One of the men stole IR£4 from him.

The teenagers responsible received suspended sentences for manslaughter in 1983.

The bridge dedication would recognize the 30th anniversary of the first pride march in Dublin, which will be celebrated during the summer.

O'Farrell said dedicating the bridge to Flynn would send out a very positive message about the inclusiveness of today’s society while still “paying respects to past injustices.”

“Declan Flynn was a gay man when homosexuality was a crime,” he said.

“The gay community is now a major part of Dublin.  This memorial would be a fitting tribute from the citizens of Dublin.”

O’Farrell said naming the bridge after Flynn would go some way to teaching people about the inequality that existed before their time, while serving as a reminder to those who lived through it.
- Dublin People

GREEN TEAM - Trinity College Dublin was awarded a Green Flag by government agency An Taisce's for efforts to make the campus better environmentally managed and more sustainable.Irish Voice