Pair on way to taxi were ‘viciously assaulted’

The Circuit Criminal Court in Tralee has been told of a totally unprovoked assault by a group of young men in the early hours of St Patrick’s Day 2014, in which two hard-working men in their late 40s, on their way to a taxi outside a pub in Listowel, were “viciously assaulted” and set upon for no reason.

Richard Coffey, of Dahereens West, Castleisland, Co Kerry, now aged 19, and Jason O’Brien, of Killeen Woods, Tralee, now aged 26, admitted assault causing harm to Martin Sheehy, 47, a scaffolder from Listowel, and Robert Heffernan, 48, a heavy machinery driver.

A third man is denying the charge and is to go on trial, the Circuit Criminal Court was told.

The assault occurred at around 1.30am on William St “swiftly” and within a number of minutes as the men made their way to a pre-ordered hackney in which Mr Heffernan’s wife was already sitting, Sergeant John Gleeson told Tom Rice, prosecuting.

He told how Mr Heffernan was “knocked to the ground” and kicked in the face and head. He had to attend hospital the next day and was unable to work for four weeks. He was found to have suffered concussion, the left side of his face was fractured, and was unable to chew for two weeks afterwards and could only have liquid food. A nerve had been severed and he still experienced difficulty shaving.

Mr Sheehy was also injured, but not as seriously.

“This was a totally unprovoked vicious assault,” said Sgt Gleeson.

Both accused each have 19 convictions, mainly for road traffic and public order offences.

Brian McInerney, for O’Brien, said his client had no previous convictions for assault and had €1,600 in court as compensation.

Katie O’Connell, for Coffey, said her client was 17 at the time and also had money in court as compensation.

The case was adjourned to today.


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