Air Corps officer's pay slashed after court martial
An air Corps officer found guilty of assaulting his superior and using insulting language towards him has been sentenced to a reduction of two pay grades and a fine of 10 days' pay.
At a court martial hearing in McKee Barracks,Commandant Nile (Niall) Donohoe (52) was told he had displayed "flagrant contempt" for his commanding officer and had not heeded his attempts to defuse the situation.
Commandant Donohoe, a married man with two schoolgoing children, had achieved the top grade on the salary scale, with an income of €63,176.
He will now see a drop in income of €5,251 for the first year and €4,401 for the second year before he returns to his current pay grade, 18 months before he is due to retire.
Lieut Col John Maloney, Cmdt Donohoe's superior officer in Casement Aerodrome, told the hearing that Cmdt Donohoe became aggressive over the course of a meeting on August 10 2007 and proceeded to follow Lieut Col Maloney through the building and into the toilets where the alleged assault took place.
He said Cmdt Donohoe poked him in the chest and called him a "piece of sh*t", causing Lieut Maloney to seek refuge in a toilet cubicle.
Military judge Col Michael Campion yesterday said the offences committed had been an "egregious breach of military discipline" and that the language he used towards Lieut Col Mahon was "grossly insulting and offensive."
However, he noted "the existence of a backdrop of difficulty" between Cmdt Donohoe and some other members of the Defence Forces. He noted the incident had occurred in private.
The judge said that because Cmdt Donohoe did not address the court in the pre-sentence hearing, the court had "no insight" into what had happened or his attitude now towards those offences.
A character reference from Cmdt Donohoe's current commanding officer, Colonel Peter Marron, described him as a conscientious officer with good leadership skills.
Comdt Donohoe was found not guilty of a third charge of committing an act to the prejudice of good order and discipline during the altercation.
He was previously court-martialed for a separate incident in 2010, but that decision was overturned and he was reinstated to the Forces two years later.