Singing priest's son escapes jail for attack on bouncer
THE actor son of one of Ireland's best-known priests has been ordered to do 240 hours of community service after he broke a pub doorman's nose during a drink-fuelled attack.
Ross Hamilton -- a son of Fr Michael Cleary, who died in 1993 -- escaped a jail term when he appeared at Dublin District Court yesterday for sentencing.
A probation report found him suitable for a community service sanction, the court heard.
Judge Denis McLoughlin ordered Hamilton (34), of Whitworth Road, in Phibsboro, in Dublin, to perform 240 hours of community service in lieu of eight months' imprisonment.
Hamilton had pleaded guilty earlier to assault causing harm to doorman Martin McKevitt outside the Botanic House pub, at Prospect Way, Glasnevin, in Dublin, on October 1 last year.
Giving evidence, Gda Elaine Smith had told Judge McLoughlin she saw security staff from the pub "waving for assistance".
She saw a man strike the security guard in the face, adding that Hamilton had been arrested after a "short pursuit".
Mr McKevitt appeared "distressed", Gda Smith said.
He had blood on his face, a swollen nose and had to attend hospital.
At a hearing in May, the court had heard that his recovery was ongoing.
Mr McKevitt had told the court previously that he needed a further operation and that a bone in his nose was broken and "sticking out into the left nostril".
The court had heard that Hamilton had eight previous convictions from 1998 to 2004 for motoring and public order offences, as well as one for violent behaviour in a garda station.
Lawyers for Hamilton said that his actions were "out of character".
He could not remember the incident completely but had some "vague recollection". He had been out with friends and had been drinking whiskey "heavily and on an empty stomach".
The court heard earlier that he wished to apologise to Mr McKevitt and had made an offer of compensation.
However, that was rejected by Mr McKevitt, who intends to pursue Hamilton for damages in the civil courts.
Following the death of Fr Cleary, who was popularly known as the 'Singing Priest', it was revealed that he had fathered two children with his housekeeper Phyllis Hamilton, with whom he had a relationship for 26 years.
Their first child was given up for adoption; while their second, Ross, lived in Dublin at parochial house in Harold's Cross, with Fr Cleary and Phyllis, who died in 2001.