Tuesday 17 September 2019

American has glass smashed in his face, was spat on and told 'welcome to Ireland'

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Gerry McLaughlin

An American man had a glass smashed on his head, was spat on and told "welcome to Ireland" in an attack in a pub, a court has heard.

William Craig, a US national in Ireland on an exchange programme, told the court that after Calvin McCormac (21) "smashed the glass in the side of my face", a "big circle formed" and "two people spat at me and said 'welcome to Ireland'".

McCormac, with an address at Gaelic Park, Bundoran, Co Donegal, pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Craig at the Chasing Bull, Main Street, Bundoran, on October 20 last.

Solicitor for McCormac, John Anderson, told Sligo District Court his client was apologetic to the victim.

Mr Craig told the court he was in the bar's smoking area with his friend. His friend asked a man for a cigarette and the man grabbed his friend by the throat.

He said someone "smashed a glass in the side of my face".

After that incident, he said a big circle formed around him, he was spat at and told "welcome to Ireland".

Mr Craig said he was in Ireland for three months as part of a gap year and will be in the country for another two weeks.

He said he had been left with a scar on the side of his face.

He said the glass "broke on impact" with his face and he was "bleeding badly".

Garda Keith Farragher told the court he viewed CCTV footage of the incident. He said that in the footage Mr Craig and McCormac could be seen "squaring up" and McCormac made "like a fist with a glass in his hand".

He said the footage showed Mr Craig being struck with the glass and then Mr Craig and McCormac being pulled apart.

He said the defendant struck Mr Craig two more times and then spat in his face.

Mr Anderson said there was some "interaction" between the two men in the smoking area and that "McCormac regrettably had a glass in his hand".

Judge Kevin Kilrane said it was a "shocking" case and despite McCormac having no previous convictions, pleading guilty and showing remorse, it was "not enough to avoid a prison sentence". He convicted McCormac and sentenced him to four months in prison.

Irish Independent

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