A soldier with an exemplary record in the army is now at risk of losing his job as he was remanded in custody today pending sentence for his part in a violent and unprovoked assault in Cork city.
His friend who served in the Irish Naval Service for more than five years before leaving it prior to this assault was also remanded in custody until November 23 for his part in the violence.
It was confirmed for Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin that any fine of more than €1,500 and any kind of prison sentence — even a suspended term — would lead to a soldier being discharged from the Army.
Judge Ó Donnabháin commented that even if he was being extremely lenient in this present case, it could not be less than a suspended jail sentence. And even at that the judge made it clear that he was not promising a suspended sentence.
“There is no doubt that if I am to complete sentencing now both men will go to prison for a considerable period notwithstanding exemplary service to the State.
“This was an appalling assault, it was continuous and determined. To kick a man on the ground and cause injury. There cannot be any outcome other than prison. I will remand in custody to the last day of term (of Cork Circuit Criminal Court)…
“There has to be an outcome of at least some period in custody. This damage was done on a city street,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
Eric Dorgan, of 8 Fairfield Crescent, Farranree, Cork, and Shane Galgey, of 30 St Anthony’s Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, both of whom are 24, were remanded in custody until November 23.
Detective Garda Brian Maher said the two friends were out socialising on the night of November 30, 2019, and ended up at Winthrop St.
Galgey walked on to Winthrop Lane were three other men were chatting. He approached them and asked, “What are you saying about me?”
Nobody in that group had interacted with him but as he asked the question, he punched one man in the face.
The injured party could not have defended himself as his hands were in his pockets, Det Sgt Maher said.
What followed was an assault on a second man and chasing the third man. Eric Dorgan later joined in. One of the injured parties was kicked in the head when he was on the ground.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to two charges of assault causing harm to the same two men on November 30, 2019, at Winthrop St.
Hannah Cahill and John Devlin, defending Dorgan and Galgey, respectively, said each defendant brought €6,000 compensation to court and that this €12,000 was available for the injured parties.
Ms Cahill said Dorgan felt terrible about what he had done and was deeply remorseful and apologetic.
Mr Devlin said Galgey accepted that he was the main aggressor but was fully cooperative and remorseful.
The evidence in mitigation was that neither defendant had a drink problem but had consumed a lot of alcohol on the night.
Neither one of them had any criminal conviction and did not come to the attention of gardaí since this violent incident occurred.