Judge: 'On the northside you get a pint of Beamish, you don’t get medical treatment'

A pint of Beamish stout is sometimes a cure for an injury on the northside of Cork City rather than a trip to hospital, a trial judge joked yesterday during a case.

The injured party in the case was giving evidence of getting up off the ground after allegedly being assaulted outside a pub.

Defence barrister Paula McCarthy challenged the complainant on going back into the pub rather than going directly to the hospital.

Ms McCarthy reminded the complainant that prior to the alleged assault he had six drinks. She said he did not go directly to the hospital but went back into the bar after being injured.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remarked: “On the northside you get a pint of Beamish, you don’t get medical treatment.” The complainant laughed at the judge’s remark.

A jury of six men and six women delivered a unanimous not guilty after 20 minutes of deliberation on the charge of assault causing harm.

Dermot Bracken testified that he was assaulted outside the River Lane pub on Blarney Street on March 6, 2016.

Defendant Stephen O’Donovan, aged 27, of 3 Dunmanus Park, Knocknaheeny, Cork, denied a charge of assault causing harm.

Dermot Bracken testified: “I was outside having a fag and Stephen came up towards me. He muttered something. As I turned he swiped and gave me a dig. He continued to hit me. I told him to stop. I was on the ground. He was kneeing me and kicking me.

“[The first blow was] to the left side of the temple. It was a flash. He hit me first. He continued to hit me. As I was going down I was getting knees and kicks.

“I put my hands up to defend myself. I ended up on the ground. I managed to get up and get into the bar. My jaw especially got a good impact. I had a sore jaw. I couldn’t eat solid food for a few days.”

The complainant denied the defendant’s suggestion that he (Mr Bracken) spat at him on the street and that he (Mr Bracken) was the one who started it.

O’Donovan told Detective Garda Liam Lingane in an interview about alleged assault, “I remember having a fight with him.” And he denied starting it.

Stephen O’Donovan testified that he was coming home from visiting a friend near Shandon and was walking past the pub that Sunday night when Mr Bracken spat at him. He said Mr Bracken also said, “I will get you and your fucking grandfather.”

The spitting and the making of a threat were denied.

O’Donovan said this alleged reference stemmed from two occasions when he and his grandfather were playing pool in a pub and Mr Bracken allegedly made disparaging comments about the defendant’s grandfather.

O’Donovan said he only struck in self-defence and he said the first punch from each of them landed simultaneously.

He also claimed that he never kicked Mr Bracken whom he said never fell on the ground.

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