Jury finds Donegal councillor not guilty of assaulting man

John O’Donnell said he acted in self defence at time of 2015 incident in Letterkenny

A Donegal county councillor has been found not guilty of assault after a 4½ day trial at Letterkenny Circuit Court.

John O’Donnell (37) had pleaded not guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to Seamus O’Donnell (29). He said he was attacked in Letterkenny during a night out on February 23rd, 2015.

He claimed he had been kicked in the head by Cllr O’Donnell and had spent eight days in hospital as a result.

Cllr O’Donnell said he was only acting out of self-defence.


Judge John Aylmer had earlier directed the jury to acquit Cllr O'Donnell, who is from Kilmacrennan, of another charge of assault causing harm to Emmet Gallagher arising out of the same incident.

The jury deliberated for four hours and 20 minutes before returning with the not guilty verdict.