A groom at his own wedding reception assaulted an uncle of the bride with a clothes iron hitting him over the head several times with it, a court has heard.
At Gort District Court, Brendan Cloherty (aged 34) of Castlepark, Ballybane, Galway pleaded guilty to two charges arising from the assault on Kevin Barry at the Lady Gregory Hotel in Gort on July 19, 2019.
Mr Cloherty has pleaded guilty to the assault causing harm to Mr Barry contrary to Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.
Mr Cloherty has also pleaded guilty to producing a weapon, a clothes iron during the course of an assault which was likely to intimidate another person or was capable of inflicting serious injury contrary to Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act 1990.
Sgt Daithi Cronin told the court that when gardaí arrived at the hotel on July 19, 2019, they established that “a serious altercation” had taken place.
Sgt Cronin said that Mr Cloherty hit Mr Barry several times over the head with the clothes iron which he had taken from one of the hotel rooms.
He said that the injured party, Mr Barry, made a statement to gardaí in September 2019 outlining the events and Mr Cloherty was subsequently interviewed by gardaí where he did admit striking Mr Barry over the head with the clothes iron.
Sgt Cronin said that “all parties were intoxicated at the time” before adding that it was Mr Cloherty’s wedding.
In evidence and recalling the assault, Mr Barry told the court: “I didn’t see him coming.” Asked what impact the assault has had on him, Mr Barry told the court that he suffers from “short-term memory loss”.
Asked to provide more detail by Judge Patrick Durcan, Mr Barry said: “If I’m about to do something, if I go out the door I have to come back in - I have to write everything down.”
He told the court: “I have bad pains in my head.
Asked how he knew Mr Cloherty, Mr Barry said: “He married my niece and I was invited to the wedding. I was invited to another niece’s wedding but I won’t go.” Asked has he had any contact with Mr Cloherty since, Mr Barry said "no".
He added however that he received a message from a person “last night trying to offer me money to drop the charges”.
Mr Barry said that it was "a mate" of both himself and Mr Cloherty and that the message stated that he would receive €3,500 to drop the charges.
Sgt Cronin said: “This is the first I have heard of this.” Judge Durcan stated that he was not concerned with that aspect of the case.
Judge Durcan said that the initial medical report stated that on arrival to hospital, Mr Barry was intoxicated and drowsy.
Asked by Judge Durcan was he badly injured on the night, Mr Barry replied: "Yes, I was”.
Judge Durcan stated that Mr Barry’s medical examination also included X-rays and a CT scan.
Asked has he retained his own solicitor in the case by Judge Durcan, Mr Barry confirmed that he has his own solicitor,.
Judge Durcan asked: “Has your own solicitor suggested you have a case in the High Court for damages?” In reply, Mr Barry said: “I’d say so, yeah.” Judge Durcan told the court that he couldn’t finalise the case until he has received up-to-date medical evidence.
Judge Durcan directed that medical reports be provided by Mr Barry’s GP and consultant urgently.
The judge also stated that the initial medical report presented to court indicated that there was nothing wrong with Mr Barry “and he may have had too much of everything at the wedding”.
Judge Durcan further remanded Mr Cloherty on continuing bail for sentence to Gort District Court on January 28 next.