Tuesday 27 June 2017

Jealous boyfriend (22) who punched man in nightclub pleads guilty to assault after admitting offence on Facebook

Young victim left with a €13,000 dental repair bill after assault

Daniel McCormack and girlfriend Niamh Dunleavy
Daniel McCormack and girlfriend Niamh Dunleavy

Greg Harkin

A MAN who refused to co-operate with gardaí over an assault on a man which left the victim with a €13,000 dental repair bill pleaded guilty after he admitted the offence in Facebook messages with the victim.

Letterkenny District Court heard that Daniel McCormack, (22), from Glendowan, Churchill, Co Donegal, went into a jealous rage when Paul Heraghty, (21), from Tullyconnell, Fanad, was talking to his girlfriend Niamh Dunleavy at the Pulse Nightclub in Letterkenny on March 20 last year.

Insp Michael Harrison told Judge Paul Kelly that McCormack went up to Mr Heraghty asking: “What are you talking to her about?”

He said CCTV footage then showed McCormack punching Mr Heraghty in the face.

The victim, said the inspector, had lost his two front teeth in the incident.

He later told gardaí that he and Miss Dunleavy had been talking about someone they both knew when McCormack came up to him and punched him in the face.

Insp Harrison said that when he was later arrested and questioned by gardaí McCormack had repeatedly answered ‘no comment’.

However it later emerged that McCormack had apologised for the attack in Facebook messages to Mr Heraghty.

In one exchange the victim wrote: “So can you tell me why the f*** you hit me tonight? You broke my two front teeth for absolutely no reason.”

Ten weeks later McCormack responded: “Yes lad, didn’t see this message request…am sorry about the hole (sic) handling, didn’t mean any of it, was all drink like, to my nature at all…I’ll pay for all your teeth and everything if you don’t wanna bring it to court. Be far handier lad.”

Mr Heraghty responded that he faced 20 years of dental work as a result of his injuries, including €8,000 in implants and “two steel posts up into my teeth and gums, steel supports on the back and fake crowns and whatever else I’ve got to get done too. It’s horrible. I;ve only one set of teeth.”

Lidl employee McCormack offered to pay for the costs of all the dental work adding: “It would be far quicker that going threw (sic) court cause the case would be going on for 2 years”.

The court heard the victim had spent €1,300 so far on dental work with more than €14,000 expected by the end of his treatment.

Defence solicitor Donough Cleary told the court that his client, who pleaded guilty to a Section 3 assault, was normally a shy, demure individual who had drank too much on the night of the attack.

“He can’t undo what he did and if he could, he would. This was totally out of character,” said the solicitor.

Mr Cleary said his client was now facing a civil action as a result of the incident.

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case to March 6 to allow for a probation and welfare report.

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