'showed remorse' | 

Two Kerry footballers have assault convictions overturned after appeal

The pair provided a further €5,000 in compensation to their victim, bringing his total compensation to €10,000
Christopher O'Donoghue (left) and Ronan Buckley (right) pictured at court (PIC: Michelle Cooper Galvin)

Christopher O'Donoghue (left) and Ronan Buckley (right) pictured at court (PIC: Michelle Cooper Galvin)

Clodagh Meaney

Two Kerry inter-country footballers have had assault convictions overturned following an appeal.

Ronan Buckley (23) and Christopher O’Donoghue (22) received convictions for assault earlier this year.

The Kerry senior footballer and former minor footballer also received a €400 fine each, after pleading guilty to assaulting Dan McCarthy, causing him harm, in Killarney on October 22nd, 2018.

Their appeals came before Kerry circuit court yesterday, December 9.

According to Radio Kerry, Judge Terence O'Sullivan said he was impressed with their earlier guilty pleas as well as the number of positive references and testimonials about them that were given to the court.

The pair provided a further €5,000 in compensation to their victim, bringing his total compensation to €10,000.

Judge O'Sullivan said their remorse was fitting with the significant sum of compensation.

Buckley and O’Donoghue’s solicitor Padraig O'Connell, said that a conviction would have a “detrimental impact” on Ronan Buckley's hope of securing a job as a teacher.

Judge O'Sullivan said that he “accepted” that the accused men were “high profile role models”, who “gave a lot to their communities” and were “high academic achievers”.

The judge accepted their application for their convictions to be overturned.

The 40-year-old victim previously told Killarney district court that he has faced regular “taunts” about ruining the lives of his attackers, since the incident occured.

“Every time I’m out I get taunted. People would say sly remarks or comment about ruining the three men’s lives and how could I live with myself,” he said.

“It has changed my life,” he said. “I know they are well-known footballers but I am somebody too. I didn’t ask for this.”

Judge David Waters said that the victim and those with him at the time of the attack were “in no way to blame” for what had happened.

Dan McCarthy was out socialising with friends in Killarney and was walking down a laneway before the two accused subjected him to “blow after blow” after they had a verbal exchange. A bag of takeaway food was knocked out of the hands of an elderly friend of Dan’s before he received punches to the face.

In a victim impact statement, Mr McCarthy said his young daughters’ reaction to his facial injuries hurt more than the assault itself.

“My two girls would not come near me when they saw my face,” he said, explaining that his daughters were frightened of him because he resembled a “monster.”

The court heard that the victim’s nose and face were very swollen after the assault and he will also require surgery on the damage caused to his septum.


Today's Headlines

More Courts

Download the Sunday World app

Now download the free app for all the latest Sunday World News, Crime, Irish Showbiz and Sport. Available on Apple and Android devices