Man ordered to pay €2,500 for nightclub assault

A man has been ordered to come up with a total of €2,500 in compensation for the assault of another man in a city centre nightclub leaving him with a visible scar.

Kevin Dowling (20 ) with an address at Moyvannion, Kiltoon, Athlone, Roscommon, pleaded guilty to assaulting Brian Halpin causing him harm at GPO nightclub, Eglinton Street, on October 3, 2010.

Inspector Ernie Whyte told the court that at 1.30am the gardai had received a call to go to the nightclub where they found that Mr Halpin had been assaulted by the defendant. The court heard that both men had been socialising in the nightclub when Dowling punched the other in the face three times. As a result of the assault Mr Halpin had been taken to hospital where he received a number of stitches to the wound around his nose, the details of which were contained in a medical report and accompaning photographs were handed into court. Dowling, who has no previous convictions, was arrested by gardai and made a full admission.

Defence solicitor Brendan Irwin said his client is a full-time music engineering student who on the night in question had drunk too much alcohol, “more than he could handle”. Mr Irwin then explained that Dowling’s friend had been in an altercation with Mr Halpin and that the defendant had intervened. The court then heard that Dowling is extremely remorseful for this actions and had posted a “wholesome apology” on Mr Halpin’s Facebook page at the first available opportunity.

Judge Mary Fahy then sternly told Mr Irwin and his client that the court does not approve of anyone contacting an injured party through social media.

Mr Halpin told Judge Fahy that the injury had healed but he has been left with a scar - a white line - across his nose. Noting that she was able to see the scar Judge Fahy told Dowling “you got involved in something that was entirely not your business”.

The injured party then indicated that he would be interested in accepting compensation from Dowling but that he was not at the stage where he was able to forgive.

Mr Irwin then informed Judge Fahy that Dowling, who is of limited means as he is a student, is able to offer €1,000. However, Judge Fahy replied: “This young man has been left with a permanent scar. It [the €1,000 offer] would be a start but not to finish. I will be looking for €2,500 to be paid.”

The case was adjourned to June 6 next for the first €1,000 to be paid.

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