The victim had plates inserted into her jawbone and was left with facial scarring and bald patches on her head as a result of the assault, a court heard.
Mother-of-one Kelly McGlynn, aged 27, of Holywell Rise, Swords, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Fiona Benson in the early hours of April 30, 2011.
The incident took place at the home of Ms McGlynn’s aunt, Sandra Tobin, at Elmfield Park in Clarehall.
Giving evidence at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court, Garda Ciara Doyle said a lot of drink was taken on the night by both McGlynn and the victim. She told Colm O’Briain BL, prosecuting, that a row broke out after Ms Benson went upstairs and put on a pair of boxer shorts belonging to Sandra Tobin’s boyfriend, Danny Butler. Mr Butler became annoyed and an argument ensued downstairs. The court heard that the victim’s arm was broken at the time and she was wearing a cast.
McGlynn told Ms Benson to go home, telling her “you can’t be upstairs rooting around”.
Witness Sandra Tobin told gardaí she was in the kitchen and saw the two women on the ground and “hair-pulling going on”.
She said they were separated by some of the men present but that the accused later went back to Ms Benson “and then there was just murder again”.
Ms Benson told gardaí that McGlynn pulled her to the ground by her hair. The attack lasted about five minutes and McGlynn punched her in the face, bit her on the right cheek and took “chunks” out of her hair.
Ms Benson went to Beaumont Hospital the following day where a medical report said she had a black eye, swelling and a puncture wound to her right cheek.
She was referred to St James Hospital where she had an operation for a fractured cheek bone and plates were inserted into her right jawbone.
Gda Doyle was called to see Ms Benson the day after the incident and noticed large amounts of hair missing from her head.
A victim impact report prepared by Ms Benson said the assault had left her traumatised. She said she was prescribed anti-depressants for a few months and suffered panic attacks and ongoing nightmares. She had difficulty socialising for up to nine months and suffered stress, anxiety and fear of going out due to her facial scars. Ms Benson was out of work for two months and incurred medical expenses of about €500.
McGlynn has three previous convictions dating back to a single incident in 2006 for drunk driving and driving with no licence or insurance. Anne Marie Lawlor BL, defending, said her client never intended to inflict the injuries that were suffered and was “utterly taken aback” when she learned of them.
She said her client wishes she was in a position to offer some compensation to the victim but that she simply does not have the money.
Judge Patricia Ryan said it was “really a very serious matter” that had left the victim with a fractured cheekbone and a permanent scar.
“A person was on the ground, trying to protect herself, with her arm in a cast,” she said before adjourning the case to May 30 for sentencing.