Charles O’Callaghan, of Killavoy, Banteer, Co Cork, was remanded in custody for sentencing on Friday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.
Detective Garda Padraig Reddington testified that the incident occurred on the August bank holiday weekend last year when the injured party — publican Mark Kelly — took over the licence at The White County Inn, Banteer, and had a barbecue for customers in the car park.
About 30 people were having drinks when the defendant arrived.
O’Callaghan greeted Mr Kelly but felt he did not respond. “He returned at 9pm wearing a large hood over his head. He had an air rifle under his raincoat. Part of the stock of the rifle had been cut off. He discharged it in the back of [Mr Kelly’s] head. A pellet struck him causing injury at point of impact. He has since recovered,” Det Garda Reddington said.
“There was a struggle with members of the public who disarmed him. His hood came down and he was clearly identified. He said he was not out to kill him but to give him a fright to scare him off,” he said, adding:
“He has a substance abuse problem.”
Tom Creed, defending, said: “The accused was under the care of psychiatric services for some time. He stopped taking anti-psychotic medication which he had been prescribed. He suffered a breakdown and was hearing voices and so on. When he does not take his medication he hears voices.”
O’Callaghan pleaded guilty to assault causing harm, threatening to kill Mr Kelly, and two charges related to the air rifle.