Publican verbally and physically assaulted in Ballina

A 35-year-old father of five who called a publican a “whore” after being refused entry, and assaulted the same publican a month later, appeared at Ballina District Court on Tuesday along with a 36-year-old man who allowed his 16-year-old son to drive him home as he was drunk.

Garda Des McCann told the court that on June 14 the proprietor of Peacock’s Bar (O’Rahilly Street, Ballina ), Ms Ann Ward, reported that Edward McDonagh, 54 Ectra, Ballina was refused entry to the bar at 9pm as he was intoxicated. McDonagh became verbally abusive and during ten minutes of verbal abuse he told the publican that he would “burst her face” and called her a “whore” and “a knacker” before the gardaí arrived. A month later on July 16, which was heritage night in the town, McDonagh was again refused entry to the premises at 10.15pm as he was in an intoxicated state. McDonagh caught and dragged Ms Ward before he struck her with his clenched fist on the left side of her face. A customer came to her assistance and the gardaí were called.

The case of Bernard McDonagh, 6 McDermott Street, Ballina was also heard at the same time. Bernard faced public order charges following his refusal to the Loft Bar in Ballina on July 18 as he was intoxicated. Bernard was also summonsed for having no insurance covering his 16-year-old son to drive his Ford Transit van on September 3.

Solicitor for both defendants, Michael Bohan, said that both men were pleading guilty to the charges. Edward publicly apologised in court and Bernard had previously apologised and was co-operative.

Judge Mary Devins concvicted and fined Edward €250 for the section six public order offence and for the section two assault convicted and fined the defendant €500 and ordered that €600 be also made available to Ms Ward.

Bernard, who took the stand in relation to why his son was driving that night, told the court that he was intoxicated and therefore his son drove him home. He said that he had insurance on the day but it did not cover the 16-year-old.

Judge Devins noted that both men drove 08 vans—one of them insured his for only €500, and Bernard’s wife was using their child benefits to make the €400 monthly repayments on it—yet were unemployed and were seeking legal aid, and noted this was a sort of “alternative existence”. The judge said that she couldn’t see any reason why she should not disqualify Bernard, before the defendant said that he needs his van to drive his sick child to hospital in Dublin.

Judge Devins said that she does not usually forget a face and that if he is before her again he “will be in trouble” before she convicted and fined Bernard €100 for the section four public order charge and for the insurance charge convicted and fined him €600.

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