A young Italian man starting life in Cork was attacked by three men as he waited for a spin to work at 5.30am and today it emerged that the attackers had just left a Christening party.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin commented, “A Christening at five o’clock in the morning! What were they doing – waiting for the Confirmation. Christenings used to be a sacrament. Now it is a sacrament of drinking.
“A Christening was an introduction to Christian life. Now they are an alcoholic introduction to violence.”
Detective Garda Neil Walsh gave evidence at the sentencing of two men who admitted assault causing harm to the young Italian man and attempting to rob him at Parnell Place on August 26 2018.
The detective said the victim said in an impact statement that he thought the three men had been out drinking that Saturday night/Sunday morning and were just going to walk past him.
Instead they attacked him, punched him in the face and tried to rob him of his cash and phone. He sustained what the treating doctor at Mercy University Hospital described as a mild traumatic head injury.
Judge Ó Donnabháin imposed three-year jail terms on the two defendants and suspended the last six months. The duo were: 24-year-old Connie O’Donoghue formerly of Upper Teadies, Enniskeane, County Cork, and now of Bere Island, County Cork, and Jimmy O’Driscoll, 22, of 5 Mount Saint Joseph’s Close, Bakers Road, Gurranabraher, Cork.
The victim said that after he was attacked and injured, the two accused and a third man, not before the court, “walked away as if nothing happened, like this was a natural occurrence for them.”
The young man said he had been really looking forward to living in Cork and his new job. He said his mother in Italy was worried about him and her own health was poor. He decided to go home for six months to recover with the support of his family. While it was the right thing to do he felt bitterly disappointed that it was necessary.
Tom Creed senior counsel for O’Driscoll, said the victim did not sustain any acute bony injuries.
He said €1,000 compensation was gathered by the defendant from very limited resources. O’Driscoll said in a letter, “I am truly sorry for assaulting you. My head was not in the right place after my brother passed away to suicide in prison. I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive me.”
Siobhán Lankford SC said O’Donoghue had moved to Bere Island to get away from bad influences and to stay out of trouble. He was also apologetic to the injured party.