Teen duo accused of 'vicious' assault in Cahersiveen school

Kevin Hughes

TWO 18-year-olds accused of "viciously" assaulting a fellow Coláiste na Sceilge pupil leaving him too swollen to be x-rayed by medics have been warned to steer clear of Valentia Island where the injured party resides.

Gardaí say they have CCTV footage of a sustained attack in a corridor of the Cahersiveen school on January 24 during which it is alleged that Gareth Egan, 26 Fertha Drive, Cahersiveen, and Conor Scanlon, 53 Fertha Drive, assaulted Ciaran O'Donoghue.

Appearing before Cahersiveen District Court on Thursday, both men were charged with assault causing harm.

Providing details of the alleged incident, Inspector Aileen Magner said footage shows the injured party walking towards both accused when he was punched in the face. Falling backwards, Mr Scanlon was then accused of kneeing Mr O'Donoghue in the face while Mr Egan began punching him.

During the attack, Mr O'Donoghue is understood to have hit his head off a step as he fell and the frame of a bin was later picked up and throw at him as he lay on the ground.

A fellow pupil tried to pull the injured party away and the attack continued despite the intervention of a teacher, the court heard,

It is alleged that Conor Scanlon threw a total of 12 punches, 12 kicks and four knee strikes while Gareth Egan threw 30 punches and landed two kicks on the injured party.

Mr O'Donoghue was left concussed with a broken nose, bruising and cuts to his head and back and swelling to his jaw and eye areas. He was taken to hospital but had to return 10 days later to allow the swelling to subside before being x-rayed.

"Judge, this was a vicious assault," the inspector continued, adding that the injured party and his family now feared for their safety.

Addressing the defendants, Judge James O'Connor said he would consider the issue of jurisdiction - either the case remains in the district court or is heard in the circuit court with more serious penalties - based on the defendants' approach.

Representing Mr Scanlon, solicitor Padraig O'Connell said he expected the case to be forwarded to the circuit court but Judge O'Connor said he intended to accept jurisdiction. Solicitor Gerry O'Connor was also told the case against client Gareth Egan would also remain in the lower court.

The case was adjourned until September 19 with both defendants remanded on continuing bail with conditions including a requirement that both accused not to travel beyond Portmagee Bridge and have no communication whatsoever with the injured party or members of his family.

Before the adjournment Mr O'Connell said his client had complaints currently being investigated by the gardaí, adding that he had also been the victim. "That is burning in his head and I'm sure Mr O'Connor will concur to about his client," Mr O'Connell commented.

Judge O'Connor took exception to the remarks, replying: "Today is not the day to bring that up, that's for another day - these guys need to wise up and wise up fairly fast".

Addressing both defendants, the judge warned that any breach of conditions would mean prison.

"If you so much as look in the wrong direction or have contact through any communication with the injured party or family I will send you to jail for eight days for starters," he stated.

"If you, and it can be shown, get anyone to do your dirty work for you, the same thing will apply. If you think you are hard men, wait until you go inside the door of the great big grey building in Cork, then you will find out very shortly within half an hour how hard you are," he added.

Both defendants were granted legal aid.


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