Man hearing 'prophecies from the Holy Ghost' assaulted two men in Cork city

Donal Heaphy head-butted and punched one of the men in the head and face causing him bruising and swelling to the face.
Man hearing 'prophecies from the Holy Ghost' assaulted two men in Cork city

A man hearing “prophesies from the Holy Ghost” assaulted two men on Shandon Street and now he has been jailed for two years. Picture: iStock

A man hearing “prophesies from the Holy Ghost” assaulted two men on Shandon Street and now he has been jailed for two years.

Garda John Barry said that on the morning of May 16 2021 the owner of a local shop on Shandon Street was outside the premises talking to a customer when Donal Heaphy walked down the street.

“It was 9.45am and Donal Heaphy brushed past the injured parties bumping into one of them as he made his way to Centra,” Garda Barry said.

As the accused was walking back up the street one of the injured parties passed the comment, “Is the footpath not big enough for you?” A verbal altercation developed into a physical altercation.

Donal Heaphy head-butted and punched one of the men in the head and face causing him bruising and swelling to the face.

The second man came to the victim’s assistance but Heaphy pushed him away. Unfortunately, the injured party landed on a traffic bollard breaking three ribs and causing a punctured lung.

This man was the customer in the shop and he said afterwards that he had simply been doing his civic duty trying to protect his friend.

As well as the physical injuries he was left with the worry that it might happen again.

The shopkeeper said he was viciously assaulted by a person he had never met. To him, it seemed that the assailant was intent on doing him grievous bodily harm. The victim said Donal Heaphy returned to the area afterwards and made threats that he found disturbing.

The victim had an overwhelming feeling of fear and was constantly on edge. He said it caused him physical and psychological turmoil.

Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan said Donal Heaphy of 5 Peacock Lane, North Monastery Road, Cork, had a long history of mental illness and suffered auditory hallucinations. Around that time, the 33-year-old was speaking incoherently about “prophecies from the Holy Ghost” and “meeting with the Queen”.

Mr O’Sullivan said the accused man did not set out that morning to assault anyone. He felt he was defending himself and accepts he went too far.

Judge Helen Boyle imposed a sentence of two years and six months with the last six months suspended at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

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