Musician to be sentenced next year over Dublin assault

Bernard McDonagh (30) handed himself in after being featured on RTÉ’s CrimeCall

A ‘talented musician’ who handed himself into gardaí after assaulting a Croatian man after being featured on RTÉ’s CrimeCall will be sentenced early next year. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

A ‘talented musician’ who handed himself into gardaí after assaulting a Croatian man after being featured on RTÉ’s CrimeCall will be sentenced early next year. File photograph: Alan Betson/The Irish Times

 

A “talented musician” who handed himself into gardaí after assaulting a Croatian man after being featured on RTÉ’s CrimeCall will be sentenced early next year.

Bernard McDonagh (30) admitted punching the man, who was knocked unconscious and fell to the ground, landing face first.

The man broke his jaw in two places and suffered damage to several teeth in the incident.

McDonagh, of Barn Lodge, Cappogue, Finglas, Co Dublin, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to assault causing harm at Dame Lane in the city centre on June 17th, 2015.

He has 19 previous convictions, mainly for public order offences.

After reading a psychologist’s report, Judge Melanie Greally said that McDonagh had to start making meaningful efforts to address his issues with alcohol.

She said the courts had been lenient with McDonagh in the past but this had had little effect on his behaviour.

She adjourned the case until March 27th, 2017, to give time for the completion of a probation report and to allow McDonagh gather further compensation for the victim, who requires costly dental surgery.

Garda Noeleen Byrne told Joseph Barnes BL, prosecuting, that the victim was walking down Dame Lane just after midnight on the date in question and stopped to talk to a group of people which included McDonagh.

As he was talking, McDonagh hit him with his fist.

McDonagh then ran from the scene. A passerby administered first aid to the victim and called an ambulance.

The victim had no recollection of the assault and thought he may have been knocked down.

He later reported the matter to gardaí and said he had a vague memory of being on Dame Lane.

CCTV footage

Gardaí recovered CCTV which showed the assault taking place and it was shown on RTÉ’s CrimeCall with a view to identifying the perpetrator.

Ms Byrne said she received a call from a solicitor the following day to say McDonagh wished to hand himself him.

McDonagh went to Pearse Street Garda station and made full admissions.

The victim had his jaw wired shut for several weeks following the incident and requires dental surgery on his teeth.

He had only been in Ireland a number of weeks before the assault and has since returned to Croatia.

Ms Byrne agreed with Kenneth Kerins BL, defending, that McDonagh had been apologetic.

Mr Kerins handed in a psychologist’s report and number of testimonials on his client’s behalf.

He said McDonagh was a talented musician and a caring father.

He said his client had €500 in court as a gesture of remorse.

Counsel said there was no rational explanation for what had happened, describing it as a “Jekyll and Hyde incident”.