Soldier with exemplary record jailed for ‘outrageous assault’

Court told Eric Dorgan would lose his job if he received a prison sentence


A soldier with an exemplary record has been jailed for 18 months for his part in an “outrageous assault” in Cork city centre.

Cork Circuit Criminal Court heard that Eric Dorgan (24) of Fairfield Crescent Farranree in Cork would lose his job if he received any kind of prison sentence for the violent and unprovoked assault.

Eric Dorgan, and his co- accused Shane Galgey (24), of St Anthony’s Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, were remanded in custody last month until their sentencing hearing on Thursday.

Det Garda Brian Maher told the court that Galgey and Dorgan were out for the night on November 30th, 2019.

The men found themselves in Winthrop Street where three men were chatting. Galgey approached them and asked what they were saying about him.

The men were completely innocent and had not interacted with former Naval Service member Galgey in any way. As he asked the question of the group he punched one of the men in the face.

An assault on a second man followed and the third man was chased. Eric Dorgan joined in and one of the men was kicked in the head when he was on the ground. Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin was told that Dorgan was more violent than the other assailant.

Both Galgey and Dorgan pleaded guilty to two charges of assault causing harm to two men on November 30th, 2019. The pair paid €12,000 in compensation to the injured parties.

Hannah Cahill BL said that her client, Mr Dorgan, felt deeply remorseful for his behaviour. Both he and Mr Calgey apologised profusely to their victims.

Defence Barrister John Devlin for Galgey said that his client co operated fully with gardaí. The court was told that Galgey suffered from untreated PTSD which arose in the course of his job with the Naval Service.

This may have fuelled his aggressive behaviour, the court was told. Both of the men were without previous convictions but had drank a lot of alcohol on the night.

Judge Donnabháin said that nothing could justify the “outrageous assault” on the victims. One of the injured parties suffered a fractured eye socket and cheek injuries. Another had a head injury wound that had to be closed.

The judge said the injured parties were “bewildered” by what had occurred.

“For Mr Dorgan there truly was no reality of a fully suspended sentence. Both men have served in the Defence Forces. That man [Dorgan] will as a result of his conviction lose his job. He had an exemplary record.”

Reading a psychological report in relation to Galgey, he said that there was a convincing background of a deterioration in his mental health arising out a case of untreated PTSD.

Taking the more violent role of Dorgan in the assault he jailed him for 18 months.

Judge Ó Donnabháin remanded Galgey on bail until February 26th 2021. He was urged to receive treatment for his PTSD.