A nine-month jail term was imposed on a young man involved in violent city centre incidents as the judge remarked that the culprit seemed to have a fascination with Winthrop Street.
Judge Olann Kelleher said, “This is an area where gardaí have a difficulty policing at times and they need to do what is necessary to make sure the streets of Cork are safe for the people using them.”
22-year-old Paul McDonagh of 42 Father O’Flynn Place, Ballymacthomas, Gurranabraher, Cork, pleaded guilty to a number of crimes committed in the city centre when he appeared at Cork District Court.
Diarmuid Kelleher solicitor said the accused was realistic about what he was facing in court today.
“He knows he is going to prison. He has brought his bag with him,” Mr Kelleher said.
Sergeant Gearóid Davis outlined the background to a number of the offences committed by O’Flynn. In one there was a serious assault by McDonagh and others on an innocent man in Cork city but because there was no complaint made by the victim the culprits were prosecuted for engaging in a violent disorder.
That incident commenced on Winthrop Street at 3.20am on February 9 2019. McDonagh was not involved in the first acts of violence that occurred when people with the accused attacked another man. Sgt. Davis said that a man seen on CCTV wearing a red jacket intervened to try to protect the victim and he then walked away in the direction of Oliver Plunkett Street and Pembroke Street. McDonagh and others with him were seen striking this man wearing the red jacket.
“The injured party got one kick and seven punches from Paul McDonagh in the course of this. Paul McDonagh then left the scene and left the injured party on the street,” Sgt. Davis said.
Later when he was arrested and interviewed he cooperated and identified himself on CCTV.
While several incidents involving McDonagh were described, Judge Kelleher said this one was the most serious.
“He kicked and punched him when this man was lying in a doorway. It is a very serious assault. Use of the boot is unacceptable and then seven punches also,” the judge said as he imposed nine months on McDonagh on the violent disorder charges.
Shorter concurrent sentences were also imposed on him for other offences.
At 3am on September 30 2018 – again on Winthrop Street, across from McDonald’s, a man with McDonagh kicked another man in the head. McDonagh then joined in.
“Paul McDonagh swung a left hook that landed on the injured party’s head,” Sgt. Davis said.
He admitted a third incident in the same area where he was seen carrying a bottle of vodka and fighting another man.
He also pleaded guilty to travelling as a passenger in a stolen car and smashing a front window of The Friary Bar on Shandon Street with a hurley causing €600 damage which he never paid.
Mr Kelleher, solicitor, said, “He has been out of trouble in 2020 and 2021. He knows this behaviour was reprehensible. When he drinks he gets into trouble. He tends not to be the person who started it. It was friends who started it and then he got involved. Drink has been his ruination. He is off drink now for ten months.”