Aaron Hannon, of 10 Liam Healy Road, Fairhill, Cork, pleaded guilty in October at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of assault causing harm to a man and a woman at St Oliver Plunkett St, Cork, on October 16, 2016.
Hannon has, with the help of €1,500 from family members, raised €4,000 in compensation.
“The experience of being in prison for two months has been an eye opener, a chastening experience,” Donal O’Sullivan, defending, told the court.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said: “Given what you tell me, I will release him to enable him to gather further compensation.
“I will adjourn it for 12 months.”
Sergeant Kevin Joyce accepted that Hannon did not intend to hit the woman on the night and would have been unaware that he had done so.
Mr O’Sullivan said there was evidence that the male injured party head-butted Hannon and would not stop tackling him on the street having mistakenly believed that Hannon had assaulted a woman earlier.
Mr O’Sullivan said there were witnesses in the book of evidence who gave this evidence in relation to the injured party.
The defence barrister said Hannon accepted that he was guilty of assault causing harm.
Sgt Joyce said of the involvement of the injured party and the defendant in the lead-up to the assault by Hannon: “I would say it was 50-50.”
Sgt Joyce said there were several interactions between the two men before the eventual assault by Hannon on the injured party.
Hannon said the other man was blaming him in the wrong for an alleged assault on a woman earlier.
“Mr Hannon — in the space of one and a half minutes — assaulted the injured party and caused extensive injuries to his cheekbone and eye socket.
“A lady — the second injured party — happened to be standing in front of him,” Sgt Joyce said.
“In the course of assaulting the man, Mr Hannon struck her once with his forearm and once with his knee, knocking the young lady to the ground.
“She was unconscious for a short period of time. I don’t think Mr Hannon was aware he assaulted her,” the sergeant added.
Hannon played inter-county hurling for Cork at intermediate level.