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Tuesday 18 December 2018

Man due to appear in court in connection with death of father-of-four following pub confrontation

Victim suffered injuries to his head and face

Ralph Riegel

A man is due to appear in court in connection with the death pf a father-of-four who died following a confrontation in a pub.

Gardai are investigating whether Patrick 'Ginty' O'Donnell (36) may have been the victim of repeated punches and kicks to the head.

A man, aged in his 20s, is due to appear at a special sitting of Mallow District Court today.

Tributes were paid to Mr O'Donnell, who only celebrated the birth of a child three months ago.

The father of four died following an incident late on Friday night at Willie Andies pub on the New Square in Mitchelstown, Co Cork - just metres from where a carnival had opened for the June Bank Holiday weekend.

Gardai and paramedics were called to the premises following the violent incident at 11pm.

Popular: Patrick O’Donnell
Popular: Patrick O’Donnell

It is understood a verbal disagreement had erupted between Mr O'Donnell and a man in his 20s. Both had been socialising in the popular pub at the time.

Following the suspected assault, Mr O'Donnell collapsed at the scene in front of shocked revellers. He had sustained serious injuries to his head and face.

Locals desperately attempted to assist him pending the arrival of the emergency services.

Mr O'Donnell was initially in a critical condition with paramedics desperately attempting to stabilise his condition at the scene.

However, despite attempts to help Mr O'Donnell, he was pronounced dead before he could be transferred to Cork University Hospital (CUH).

Members of his family -who are from the Ballindangan area of Mitchelstown - attended the scene.

Tragedy: Willie Andies pub, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, where a man died following an incident on Friday night. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision
Tragedy: Willie Andies pub, Mitchelstown, Co Cork, where a man died following an incident on Friday night. Photo: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

His body was later transferred to CUH for a full post-mortem examination by State Pathologist Prof Marie Cassidy, who is attending from Dublin.

Gardai stressed that the nature of their investigation into the incident will now be determined by the results of that post-mortem examination.

One theory being examined is that Mr O'Donnell may have struck his head as he fell to the ground following the confrontation.

However, gardai are also investigating whether Mr O'Donnell may have sustained several heavy punches or kicks to the head. One source indicated that Mr O'Donnell was found with significant injuries to his head and face.

A man in his 20s was arrested at the scene and taken to Fermoy garda station for questioning about the incident. He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be questioned for up to 24 hours.

The young man is also understood to be from the north Cork area. It is unclear if both men were known to each other.

Mr O'Donnell, known as 'Ginty' in Mitchelstown and Ballindangan, was described in the area as a man devoted to sport and the outdoors.

"He was a quiet lad - he loved hunting and you'd usually see him out and about with his dogs," one local said.

Other locals said they were deeply shocked by the tragedy.

"The whole town was looking forward to the Bank Holiday weekend and the arrival of the carnival. It's desperate what happened and tragic for the poor family. The whole place is shocked."

Mr O'Donnell, who would have been 37 in November, also had many friends within the extended Traveller community in north Cork.

The vicinity of Willie Andies pub was immediately cordoned off after the incident to allow for a full technical examination.

Mitchelstown's New Square was busy with bank holiday weekend revellers at the time and gardai believe there must have been a significant number of eye-witnesses to the incident.

A carnival had just opened in the area and number of people were also passing through the New Square heading to fast-food restaurants located in the vicinity.

Gardai are now checking CCTV security camera footage from business premises along the square to determine if cameras recorded the moments before the tragic incident and the movements of those involved.

Sunday Independent

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