Monday 23 April 2018

Pictured: Injuries sustained by woman during 'glass attack' by ex partner of gang leader John Dundon

Mary McCarthy (left) was left with facial injuries after the attack by Ciara Killeen (right)
Mary McCarthy (left) was left with facial injuries after the attack by Ciara Killeen (right)
John Dundon and Ciara Killeen

Gordon Deegan

The victim of a night-club glass attack carried out by the ex-partner of murderer, John Dundon, Ciara Killeen (32) has stated that the Limerick woman should have got jail for the attack.

Mother of five, Mary McCarthy was speaking after Killeen walked free from Ennis Circuit Court after receiving a two and a half year suspended sentence.

In the attack during a night-club Halloween fancy dress party at the Queen’s night club in Ennis on November 1st 2015, mother of two, Killeen - wearing a sailor’s hat - struck out with her left hand to glass Ms McCarthy in the face that required Ms McCarthy to get 23 stitches to her wounds that included one 4cm to 6cm scar.

In imposing the suspended jail term, Judge Gerald Keys said that Killeen should consider herself “very, very lucky” that she is not going to jail.

Judge Keys said that if was not for Killeen’s two children and the effect a prison term would have on them, she would be going to jail.

The two children, now aged 15 and seven, are already without their father, John Dundon (33) who is serving a life sentence for the 2008 murder of Shane Geoghegan who was shot dead in a case of mistaken identity and jailing Killeen would have deprived the children of both parents.

Addressing Killeen, Judge Keys said: “I accept you have had a difficult time but that does not excuse your conduct. The assault resulted in a very nasty injury and has had a very dramatic effect on your victim.”

Outside Ennis courthouse, Ms McCarthy said: “I am not happy. She should have got jail. She glassed me in the face for nothing.”

From O’Malley Park in Limerick, Ms McCarthy brought two photos of her injuries that were taken a couple of days after the attack to court and said that she was happy for them to be published to show the extent of the injuries she has suffered.

She said: “She shouldn’t have got a suspended sentence. It is not a nice thing to do to a girl’s face. I am still suffering.”

In her victim impact statement read out to court, Ms McCarthy said that she suffered “a horrific scar” to her face.

She said: “I nearly lost my eye. I was in hospital all night and I was covered in blood from head to toe."

She added: “After that night my whole life changed forever.  My children were screaming, they thought they had lost their mother.”

In the case, Killeen (32) of Hyde Road, Prospect, Limerick pleaded guilty to the assault causing harm to Mary McCarthy at Queens nightclub, Abbey Street, Ennis, Co Clare, at 1.10am on November 1 2015 contrary to Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Those convicted of Section 3 assault causing harm charges can be jailed for up to five years in the circuit court.

Aware that Judge Keys may have been considering a prison term before he imposed sentence, counsel for Killeen, Mark Nicholas SC made a special plea that whatever sentence is imposed that Killeen would be able to attend the Holy Communion of her youngest born next month “as the other parent of the child is not available”.

The court was told that Killeen is now separated from Mr Dundon, who was not named in court- the Limerick woman is also sister to Nathan Killeen who is also serving a life sentence imposed in 2014 for the murder of Limerick business man, Roy Collins in April 2009.

Counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL said that Killeen made full admissions concerning assaulting Mary McCarthy.

He said: “During her Garda interview, she said that it wasn’t her intention to harm Mary McCarthy. She said that words were spoken between the two and she reacted.”

Killeen has 50 previous convictions with the vast majority relating to road traffic.

Mr Nicholas said that Killeen apologises for the very regrettable and terrible injury. He said: “She truly regrets what happened.”

He said: “Ms Killeen has had her own difficulties with relationships in the past - they have been quite wearing on her but she is managing herself and her children.”

Mr Nicholas said that Killeen showed shock when she saw CCTV of the attack during the Garda interview.

He said: “It happened in a flash and she said that she would never go out to do that another person. Certainly her history shows that she is not a person of particular violence - not at all.”

He said: “Ms Killeen didn’t go looking for trouble, it was an utterly spontaneous thing to occur.”

Mr Nicholas said that a Probation Report on Killeen “shows how she has done well in difficult circumstances”.

He said: “There is some reference in the probation report of the behaviour of others that she may have been linked to - she can’t be blamed for that."

Mr Nicholas said that the report shows that Killeen “is doing her very best with the children”.

Judge Keys said that “the type of injury sustained and circumstances on its face generally would attract a custodial sentence. Very few people would not spend time in prison for it.”

Judge Keys added that “without justification”, Killeen struck Ms McCarthy in the face with the glass

Judge Keys noted that the Probation Officer in the case stated that Killeen was a moderate risk of re-offending in next 12 months in the absence of addressing risk factors.

The judge said that the report noted Killeen “has negative peer associations, limited family support, educational and employment deficits and underlying mental issues”.

Judge Keys said that Killeen is one of six children whose parents separated when they were very young.

He said that she left school when she was 11 and had a difficult childhood where there was drug abuse and violence in the home.

Judge Keys said that the Probation Report “records that Ms Killeen has a very positive relationship with children and is committed to them”.

He said: “Should you be deprived of your liberty, that will put your children in a very, very delicate situation."

Imposing the suspended jail term, Judge Keys said: “You may think you are walking out of this court free. You are not, you are under licence. You have a  two years and six months custodial sentence hanging over your head for three and if you breach any of the conditions, you will be brought back before this court and subject to serve all or part of the sentence.”

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