UCD student accidentally punched garda in face during city-centre brawl
A UCD student punched a garda in the face while the officer was trying to break up a street fight outside a nightclub, a court has heard.
Eoghan Corkery (20) swung his arm while struggling with another man when he struck the garda, who was trying to separate them.
Corker had been drinking vodka on the night and had "no great memory" of what happened.
He left without a criminal record after paying €400 to charity. Judge Fiona Lydon struck the case out.
Corkery, of Curryhills, Prosperous, Naas, Co Kildare, pleaded guilty to assaulting the officer in Dublin city centre.
Dublin District Court heard that gardai came across a fight between two men on Harcourt Street last March 31.
In the course of separating them, the garda said he received a punch to the face.
He confirmed to the accused's lawyer that this had happened "in the course of a struggle with the other man".
"He swung his arm out and hit you in the face, it wasn't a direct punch," the lawyer said.
"He probably didn't realise I was a garda at the time and he called in to the station the next night to apologise," the garda replied.
Corkery was single and a second-year finance student in UCD, his lawyer said.
On the night in question he had been out drinking and had vodka, which was something he did not normally drink.
He had attended a nightclub and outside there was an altercation.
He was not involved initially, but then two of his friends were surrounded.
The defendant had "no great memory" of it.
He pleaded guilty at the first opportunity and had no previous convictions of any kind.
His lawyer asked Judge Lydon to consider leaving Corkery without a conviction.
He said the defendant was taking the case very seriously and what happened was "definitely out of character".
He had money in court to donate to charity and was "a man you won't see again in court".
His parents were in court with him and were "very concerned".
"In all the circumstances and in fairness to the accused, he does deserve an opportunity," said Judge Lydon.
She struck the charge out after the €400 was paid to the Peter McVerry Trust.