A man suffering post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from serving overseas with the Irish Navy rescuing refugees is commencing an 18-month jail term for an unprovoked attack in Cork city centre.
Sentencing of 24-year-old Shane Galgey of 30 St. Anthony’s Road, Gurranabraher, Cork, had been adjourned a number of times for him to attend to treatment for his issues.
Prosecution barrister Jane Hyland reminded Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin of why the case had been adjourned: “He had PTSD. He was in the naval service. He had to take dead children out of the sea. He was getting counselling. It was adjourned for him to continue with that.”
Detective Garda Brian Maher said Galgey had come to the adverse attention of gardaí recently.
Defence barrister John Devlin confirmed, “There was a fall off the wagon.”
Det. Garda Maher said gardaí encountered Galgey recently on South Mall in an intoxicated condition where it was alleged he had been engaged in threatening behaviour with another man and had to be restrained.
It was alleged that he said at the height of the incident, “If you let me go I will f***ing kill him.” He also had €280 worth of cocaine in his possession.
After hearing of this issue, Judge Ó Donnabháin said he was going to proceed to sentence him on the more serious case that was before Cork Circuit Criminal Court, saying there would be no further adjournments.
He sentenced him to three years with half of it suspended. The judge said he well recalled the incident at Winthrop Street which he described as “a vicious, unprovoked series of assaults” by Galgey and a man who was previously sentenced. The judge said he had not been happy with the progress Galgey had been making with counselling but he said the other transgression took the matter into another realm.
“There is no one here who was under any illusion that when sentencing was kept open there was a very thin line,” Judge Ó Donnabháin said.
One of the victims of the assault sustained a fractured eye socket, fractured cheekbone and significant psychological impact and the other man had a significant wound to his head.
Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “Both injured parties are bewildered – as I am myself – how such violence could be visited to innocent parties for no reason on the street.
Det. Garda Maher said Galgey and his co-accused were out socialising on the night of November 30 2019 and ended up at Winthrop Street.
Galgey walked on to Winthrop Lane where 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. Garda. Maher said.
What followed was an assault on a second man and chasing the third man.
Both defendants pleaded guilty to two charges of assault causing harm to the same two men on November 30 2019 at Winthrop Street.
Each defendant brought €6,000 compensation to court for the injured parties.