Family's outrage as pair in brawl that cost dad his eye walk free
Family's outrage as pair that cost father his eye walk free
Published 27/06/2014 | 13:46
The family of a man who lost his eye when he was hit by a vase thrown during a brawl in a Dublin pub have reacted with anger when the man and woman walked free from court with a wave and smirk.
Shay Gaughan had been having a quiet drink with his partner, Toni Hogan, when he was hit by a vase thrown during a brawl at a 30th birthday party in a Dublin pub.
He lost his eye after part of the porcelain vase smashed his cheek bone and sliced into his eyeball.
He died from cancer last November at the age of 57.
The woman celebrating her birthday, Claire Darby (33), and a friend, Eamonn Burke (46), both have addresses at Primrose Grove, Darndale.
They admitted in court they had taken part in the brawl at the Kinsealy Inn pub on December 3, 2010 but they denied throwing objects such as vases and glasses on the night.
Darby, a single mother of two, has 10 previous convictions for offences including common affray, handling stolen property and uninsured driving.
Burke's 41 prior convictions include criminal damage, theft and motoring offences.
Council for the prosecution said it was accepted that the injuries suffered by Mr Gaughan were the "unintended consequences" of the actions of Darby and Burke.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring yesterday handed the pair four year suspended sentences, bound them to the peace and ordered them to continue engaging with the probation services.
She accepted that Darby and Burke had shown remorse and taken responsibility for their actions, but she warned that if she saw them within the next four years, they would be made to serve the full sentence. She said the loss of liberty is temporary, unlike the loss of an eye.
After watching the pair walk free from court, Ms Hogan said: "I just feel Shay got no justice at all for all he went through. It was a horrible night."
"To see people walking away like that is just crazy. They got a four year suspended sentence and maybe they will be back before four years, but is someone else going to lose an eye or worse in the meantime?"
Mr Gaughan's brother, Gerry, said: "I'm disillusioned with the whole system. To see those people walk down the road is a disgrace. My brother is dead since, and this didn't help his last three years. How many chances do these people get?""
During the case, evidence was heard that when Darby and her group arrived, staff saw that some people had brought their own drinks and others were going up to the bar and ordering glasses of ice.
Floor manager Martin Butterly warned them they would be asked to leave if they did not stop.
After 10pm, they were asked to leave and people came forward to remonstrate with staff, but Mr Butterly would not change his mind.
Things then took "a nastier turn" and Darby threw down her birthday cake when it was given to her.
Objects were then thrown by members of the group in a "random and haphazard way" through the bar.
This included beer bottles, pint glasses and flower vases.
Evidence was heard that Mr Gaughan and Ms Hogan were in the pub when a ceramic vase was thrown, hitting a pillar and exploding in shards of glass.
Judge Ring noted that CCTV footage had identified Darby's centrral role as the organiser, while Burke was identified through his tattoos.
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