A couple from Cloyne has been given two months to leave town as a result of an assault on their next door neighbour in an attack which saw the woman using a poker.
Garda Kieran Cotter said Sheila O’Keeffe pleaded guilty at Cork Circuit Criminal Court to a charge of assault causing harm to Henry O’Callaghan by striking him with a poker on October 14, 2018, and Jason O’Keeffe admitted assault causing harm to the same injured party by punching him.
Garda Cotter said the injured party told gardaí that he went out to his front door and that Jason O’Keeffe punched him in the face, knocking him back on to his sofa. He continued the assault when the injured party was on the sofa, the guard said.
Garda Cotter said Sheila O’Keeffe picked up Mr O’Callaghan’s poker and struck him with it.
The victim lost four teeth and sustained other injuries during the assaults.
Judge Ó Donnabháin was told there was a total of €2,700 compensation from the defendants to the injured party. But the judge commented, “I am not sure this can be adequately dealt with by compensation.” The judge asked how tension could be eased in the future. Defence barrister, Peter O’Flynn, for Sheila O’Keeffe suggested there was a possibility of them moving out as they rented their house rather than owning it.
The judge asked for the injured party – who was outside the courtroom – to be brought in to ask him if he would feel better if they moved away. Mr O’Callaghan came in and replied, “They would want to go a long way.” The judge adjourned sentencing until April 30 to enable the O’Keeffes to make arrangements to move out of Cloyne, warning that if they had any further contact with the victim they would definitely go to jail.
During the hearing, William Bulman BL, acting for Jason O’Keeffe, said, “Mr O’Flynn’s client was involved more.” Judge Ó Donnabháin remarked, “I am familiar with the cut-throat defence but I had yet to see it between a married couple. It (the assault) started with a puck in the mouth (from Jason O’Keeffe). In my view ye (the two accused) are equally bad.” Jason O’Keeffe, 33, and Sheila O’Keeffe, 36, both of Spittal Street, Cloyne, County Cork, will be sentenced on April 30.