Parents of man seriously injured by single punch in Cork - who has since died - forgive man who punched him 

"We forgive this man’s actions and hope we can all find peace to move forward from this.” 
Parents of man seriously injured by single punch in Cork - who has since died - forgive man who punched him 

The judge said he had to deal with the assault causing serious harm as a separate matter from the fact that the injured party later died.

The parents of a 32-year-old man who was seriously injured from a single punch in Clonakilty – and died as he began to recover – embraced the man who punched him as he was given a suspended jail term.

The family of the late Micheál O’Neill said he had forgiven Aidan Coyle for assaulting him and they added: 

“We, Micheál’s family, intend to follow Micheál’s lead of kindness and understanding. 

"We forgive this man’s actions and hope we can all find peace to move forward from this.” 

Aidan Coyle who is in his 40s and now lives in Gulladuff, Magherafelt, Northern Ireland, wept at Cork Circuit Criminal Court as he was given a fully suspended three-year suspended sentence.

The deceased man’s parents were present in court for the sentencing and they embraced Mr Coyle as they all left the courtroom together.

In the victim impact statement the family said they wanted Micheál’s voice to be heard.

“While Micheál didn’t talk much about what happened that night, he did talk about how he didn’t want anything to happen to the man who hit him. 

"Micheál felt no anger or malice towards him. He felt enough had happened and just wanted both (himself and Mr Coyle) to be able to move forward and put this in the past – that was the type of man Micheál was, he was a good man.” 

Incident outside Clonakilty music venue 

Detective Sergeant Kevin Long said Micheál O’Neill was in De Barra’s in Clonakilty on the night of March 10 2017. At one stage he was standing on a stool to see the musician who was playing and a security man asked him to get down.

Outside the premises the security man was talking to him when Aidan Coyle approached and there was some exchange of words between him and Mr O’Neill. Mr Coyle threw a single punch at him because he perceived some threat to himself. Mr O’Neill’s head struck the footpath.

Mr Coyle gave the injured party assistance and put him in the recovery position and gave his details to Garda James Keane who arrived on the scene.

Long road of recovery

To aid his recovery in hospital Mr O’Neill had to be put into an induced coma for two weeks and kept in the CUH for a further four weeks. The family said he went on a long road of recovery with the support of his parents. However, two years after the incident outside De Barra’s he died at home on March 15 2019.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said he had to deal with the assault causing serious harm as a separate matter from the fact that the injured party later died. The judge said that while the family had expressed their view the court had to determine the issue.

In doing so the judge said there was no animus between the two parties. 

“He did make some recovery and had expressed his own view about what happened on the night and he said enough had happened to the defendant and he did not want to make much more of it. 

"His parents have spoken to the defendant and they take a like view. They accept the genuineness of Coyle’s remorse and accept the turmoil he is going through.” 

More in this section

Sponsored Content

summersoaplogosml

Called Droid, our next story is about a boy who designs a robot at UCC and chaos ensues. It was written by Margaret Gillies, from the MA in Creative Writing Programme at UCC.

Add Echolive.ie to your home screen - easy access to Cork news, views, sport and more