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Father and son assaulted victims at Christmas party

Unprovoked attack at Dundalk stadium was at higher end of scale

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‘To this day, I can’t understand why they attacked us for no reason,’ a man has told the district court more than three years after he was assaulted while on a night out at Dundalk Racecourse.

He was one of two victims to give evidence of how the events of 15 December 2018 affected him.

Before Judge McKiernan were father and son Michael (58) and Kenneth Kilkenny (28), both of Lisross, Rossinver, Co. Leitrim, who pleaded guilty to charges arising out of the incident at a Christmas party in Dundalk Stadium.

Michael Kilkenny was charged with assaulting a male causing him harm, while Kenneth Kilkenny was up for assault causing harm and violent disorder.

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He was also summonsed for two counts of assault causing harm, while his father was summonsed for violent disorder and assault causing harm.

The court heard that during an unprovoked attack by people they did not know, the victims sustained injuries.

One of them testified that it was traumatic, and he had to get counselling.

‘We were jumped and to this day I can’t understand why they attacked us.’

He added he suffered head injuries and was ‘badly marked’. His arm was sore for a couple of days.

The other injured party said he suffered a broken rib after getting ‘booted on the floor’ and that he could have sustained a kick to the head.

‘There was a good few (men) on us.’

State solicitor Niamh McKernan presented evidence that the two friends were assaulted by four men. Both received kicks to the head.

They didn’t know their assailants and had no interaction with them prior to this.

CCTV footage showed Kenneth Kilkenny throwing a chair at one of the victims.

Kenneth and Michael Kilkenny and two other individuals outnumbered the two victims, one of whom was stuck on the ground and was kicked ‘multiple times’ by Kenneth Kilkenny who walked towards the other man and kicked him a number of times.

Solicitor Paula Tiernan handed in references for both of her clients.

She said Kenneth Kilkenny had been at a Christmas party and under the influence of alcohol. He was extremely embarrassed and mortified by what happened and was disgusted when he saw the CCTV footage.

This was out of character. He had not come to garda attention since and had received counselling for anger difficulties.

Kenneth Kilkenny was in a stable relationship and hard-working. He had €1,000 compensation though the court may want more.

Judge McKiernan said this was an unprovoked attack on people on a night out. It was at the higher end of the scale and the DPP had directed summary disposal of the matter in the district court on a guilty plea only.

The judge said she didn’t consider the amount of compensation offered at all enough.

Ms Tiernan continued that Michael Kilkenny was held in high regard and had not come to garda attention since

The court heard that Kenneth Kilkenny had previous convictions for two Section 3 assaults on one man. At Sligo Circuit Court he received an eight-month suspended sentence and paid a total of €15,000 compensation.

Ms Tiernan said he knew he was on thin ice, and she asked the court for time to get more compensation.

Judge McKiernan said that Kenneth Kilkenny had previous convictions and that she was not impressed by the way he met the case. There was no other option but a custodial sentence.

A six-month term was imposed. The defendant subsequently lodged an appeal, bail having been set at a personal bond of €200 with an independent surety of €3,000 cash lodged.

Michael Kilkenny was remanded on continuing bail to 19 October for payment of €2,500 compensation to each of the two victims.

The judge said if that was done a four-month suspended sentence would be imposed. Otherwise, he would be jailed for four months.


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