26 May 2022

Punched manager of Laois church in the face

Punched Good Samaritan in the face unprovoked

Portlaoise District Court

A man has admitted punching the manager of St Peter and Paul’s Church in what gardai say was an unprovoked attack on a Good Samaritan. 

Maurice Roche, 38, of Mitchels Crescent, Tralee, Co Kerry was before Portlaoise District Court charged with assault causing harm at St Peter and Paul’s Church in Portlaoise on April 1 this year.   

Sgt JJ Kirby said the manager of the church Declan Kelly tried to help the accused and “for no reason, completely out of the blue, he punched Mr Kelly in the face.” Sgt Kirby said the assault was “completely unprovoked” and Mr Kelly had bruising and swelling to his cheek and visited his GP in relation to the matter.  Sgt Kirby said “Mr Kelly was acting as a Good Samaritan” and was very upset over the incident. 

Solicitor Philip Meagher said his client “wishes to enter a plea of guilty” in relation to the charge. He said his client had been “destitute and unable to get a train” home on the day the offence occurred. 

Judge Patricia Cronin adjourned the case until May 19 so that a victim impact statement could be prepared in the case. She remanded the defendant in custody. 


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