A groom at his own wedding reception feared for his own safety when he lashed out to hit an uncle of the bride with a clothes iron several times over the head, a court has heard
At Gort District Court on Thursday, Brendan Cloherty (34) of Castlepark, Ballybane, Galway escaped jail for the assault on Kevin Barry at the Lady Gregory Hotel in Gort on July 19th, 2019.
In court, Judge Patrick Durcan imposed a suspended eight-month prison term on Mr Cloherty for the assault causing harm of Mr Barry and producing a weapon, a clothes iron in the course of the assault.
Mr Cloherty had pleaded guilty to both offences.
The judge said it was “a totally unnecessary incident” where Mr Cloherty could not manage the supply of alcohol he had taken on board as he wasn’t used to it. He told Mr Cloherty: “My advice to you is to keep your hands in your pockets in future.”
Sgt Daithi Cronin told the court Mr Cloherty hit Mr Barry several times over the head with the clothes iron which he had taken from one of the hotel rooms.
Solicitor for Mr Cloherty, Ann Gillane told the court that her client fled from the hotel after the assault and that he feared for his safety. She said that unfortunately, Mr Cloherty chose his wedding night to have a few drinks after not taking any alcohol since 2011.
“There was a number of parties at the wedding, you could really call it feuding families at the wedding.”
Ms Gillane said Mr Cloherty went upstairs to find his bride. She wasn’t there so Mr Cloherty then went into his best man’s bedroom.
“In there, he heard a kerfuffle and heard a number of raised voices coming up the stairs. Foolishly, he armed himself with a clothes iron.”
“When he went out of the room in the corridor, five of those individuals came towards him hitting him. He then saw Mr Barry coming right up towards him and he hit out with the clothes iron. He sincerely regrets it.
Court truce in bitter dispute between 90-year-old…
Ms Gillane: “His wife is here in court today supporting him – Mr Cloherty seems to be genuinely remorseful, but he wants me to convey to the court the fear that he felt that night in the bedroom on his own, hearing voices outside coming towards him on the night of his wedding.”
She said that since 2011, Mr Cloherty has had constant employment as a labourer and, has turned his life around and now doesn’t take any drugs or alcohol.
Mr Cloherty has a previous conviction for assault that relates to an incident in 2011.
In evidence in court last November, Mr Barry told the court: “I didn’t see him coming.” Asked what impact the assault has had on him, Mr Barry told the court that he suffers from “short term memory loss”.