Farmer in court for attacking nephew’s car with golf club after victim’s mum pelted with eggs
It comes two months after his children Cathal (26) and Michelle (21) were convicted and fined €500 for throwing 32 eggs at his 64-year-old sister
A 53-year-old farmer has been bound to the peace for two years after he attacked his nephew’s car with a golf club — in the latest court proceedings to arise out of a bitter ‘family dispute’.
Patrick Connors appeared before Gort District Court on Thursday, two months after his children Cathal (26) and Michelle (21) were convicted and fined €500 for throwing 32 eggs at his 64-year-old sister, their aunt, Mary Fahy, during a five-minute assault.
At the sitting, Garda Kieran Houlihan of Gort garda station told how he called to Fannaun, Peterswell, Galway on January 21, 2022 following a report of criminal damage against Patrick Connors.
He said, on arrival at the scene, he observed damage to the rear of James Fahy’s 2018 registered Ford Ranger truck, including damage to the rear door and rear light of the vehicle.
Estimates for the repair of the damaged parts of the vehicle were subsequently obtained amounting to separate sums of €780.30 and €208.01.
Connors’ solicitor told the court that the incident occurred in the context of a ‘family dispute’ that had been ongoing ‘for some time.’
Asked whether he had brought compensation, Patrick Connors indicated that he had and handed in €780. Judge Mary Larkin pointed out he was still €200 short.
After the judge offered to put the matter back until May to allow Connors time to hand in the full amount, the father-of-two said this wouldn’t be necessary and handed in a further €200.
Judge Larkin then dealt with the matter by way of the imposition of a two-year probation bond.
Connors’ son, convicted egg thrower Cathal, was also present at Thursday’s sitting to face a charge of engaging in threatening behaviour on the day his father damaged the vehicle belonging to James Fahy.
But the court heard the State had dropped this prosecution after Patrick Connors pleaded guilty to causing criminal damage to the vehicle.
Speaking after the proceedings, victim James Fahy, who is the son of egging victim Mary Fahy, told us: “I just hope to God this is the end of it now.
“I’m happy with the result today in that he showed himself up as having done wrong and I’ve got my compensation.
“Because I am innocent here.
“I had got nothing to do with any dispute over land. Patrick and I always got on good, we farmed together and we worked well together. But when he fell out with my mother, that’s when I walked away from that man.”
On the day of the incident, James said he had been driving home, a route that takes him past Patrick Connors’ home, when the road was blocked by one of the Connors’ dogs.
“I had to stop my vehicle as I came to the dogs,” he said.
“And when I looked to the right I could see Patrick Connors standing out at the front of his brother’s home.
“Then, Cathal came up behind me in his van blowing his horn.
“My son was in the back of my jeep – he’s five years of age – and as I looked back to check on him, I saw Patrick Connors take what looked to be a golf club out of the back of Cathal’s van.”
James said Patrick Connors then “came to the back of my Ford Ranger jeep, breaking the tail-light and damaging the back tail-gate door of the jeep.
“I proceeded up the road,” he said, “and I pulled into the side and rang Gort garda station.
“My girlfriend, who was heavily pregnant at the time, was also in the jeep and she was in shock at what had occurred. My son wouldn’t attend school the next day he was so upset.”
Asked whether he hoped the court proceedings marked an end to the Connors’ hostilities against his family, James responded: “I certainly hope he has learned his lesson and that he will leave us alone and stop putting himself to shame.
“I hope to God this is the end of it, although there is one more case against him to come.”
Patrick Connors’ prosecution on Thursday means he is the third member of his family to be prosecuted over their behaviour towards his sister Mary Fahy’s family.
On January 26, Judge Larkin convicted and fined his son Cathal and daughter Michelle for the egg assault on Mary outside their home at around 6.30pm on October 17, 2019.
Judge Larkin fined each sibling €500 for the assault and each an additional €500 for criminal damage occasioned on Mary’s Ford Kuga.
In her evidence, the 64-year-old said that her face got ‘banged’ and ‘bashed’ with the eggs thrown by her nephew and niece on the date.
She told the court: “It was bang, bang, bang, bang.
“I thought they were stones and they continued for five minutes or thereabouts and banging eggs off my face.”
Mary Fahy told the court that her niece and nephew Cathal and Michelle threw “a dozen and a score of eggs” at her.
After reading Mary’s hand-written victim impact statement and a probation report on the two accused, Judge Larkin said: “I had hoped that I could deal with these matters by not criminalising two young people.
“I am quite satisfied that there isn’t any other way,” the judge added.
“That is because there is no acknowledgement of what went on, there is no apology and no remorse.”
Judge Larkin added: “I seriously regret that I have to convict these young people.
“Their parents and everyone who is involved in this very sad story should sit back and think about the shortness of life.”
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