Man ‘can’t remember’ assault in Portlaoise

A man who was attacked in the street in an unprovoked assault was treated as a hostile witness at last week’s court, as the State feared he had been put under pressure to withdraw his complaint.

Mr Tadgh Hogan was assaulted on Main Street, Portlaoise, on December 27, 2012, sustaining a busted lip and a concussion.

William Fitzpatrick, Hillcrest, Killone, Stradbally, pleaded guilty to the assault at a previous court sitting and was ordered to pay compensation, while Shane Carroll, 127 The Hermitage, Portlaoise, pleaded not guilty. At last week’s court, Mr Hogan said he wished to withdraw his complaint against Carroll.

In evidence, Mr Hogan said that on the night he “turned around and saw a face”, but had no recollection of the attack.

However, Garda Sgt Justine Reilly, who witnessed the assault, gave evidence that she saw William Fitzpatrick strike Mr Hogan and when Mr Hogan fell to the ground, Shane Carroll went to kick him a number of times, although she could not say if the kicks made contact.

She said Carroll was very unsteady on his feet and did not make any statements when arrested.

Carroll took the witness box, to testify that he had been out drinking since 2 or 3pm that day, starting on beer and then moving on to spirits.

“I remember just standing in the Top Square, I can’t remember much about it... I was just standing there, I can’t remember anything going on,” he said.

“Do you accept that Sgt Reilly saw you doing (a kicking) motion?” asked Inspector Aidan Farrelly.

“If she saw it, but I can’t remember,” replied Carroll.

Judge Staines said she was satisfied by the evidence and convicted Carroll. He was ordered to pay €1,000 compensation, while Fitzpatrick paid a total of €500.

Both men were ordered to apologise to Mr Hogan, and both gave a sworn undertaking not to consume alcohol.

The judge applied the probation act.


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