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‘Bad blood’ results in broken nose

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A fight between two groups which occurred in a Crossmolina pub spilled out onto the street and resulted in a young man receiving a broken nose, a court heard last week.
Three north Mayo men all pleaded guilty to section two assault on Paul Leonard as well as threatening, insulting and abusive behaviour in a public place. The three are Nicholas Gallagher (21) of Derra Lower, Keenagh, Crossmolina; Stephen Flanagan (22) of Moate, Castlehill, Ballina; and Kevin Garvin (23) of Keenagh More, Ballina.
The trio appeared before last week’s sitting of Castlebar Circuit Criminal Court, which heard that the incident occurred around 12.30am in Crossmolina on December 7, 2015.
Outlining the facts of the case, Sergeant Kieran Lavelle told the court that there was ‘bad blood’ between two parties, who had been socialising in Leonard’s Bar in Crossmolina, and that words were exchanged between two men. The parties were restrained, but words were again exchanged at the end of the night when they were leaving.
Sgt Lavelle said that the matter resulted in a number of people spilling into the street, causing traffic to stop. During the incident, Paul Leonard (22) was assaulted by the three accused men, and his nose was broken.
The court heard that his nose has had to be straightened but that he has made a full recovery and did not wish to provide a victim-impact statement.
Sgt Lavelle agreed that other people were involved in the incident, noting that other prosecutions had been withdrawn by the DPP. Of the three accused, only Mr Garvin has a previous conviction, which was for the misuse of drugs.
All three men admitted responsibility for the assault, and the court heard a lot of alcohol had been drunk on the night. The court also heard that the trio’s relationship with Mr Leonard had improved since the incident.
Mr Gallagher was described as a talented sportsman who was now an apprentice plumber, while Mr Flanagan is serving an apprenticeship with Gas Networks Ireland. Mr Garvin was described as a former Mayo Minor who is currently living at home with his mother.
Ms Cliona Boland, counsel for Mr Gallagher, said his father died in 2006 when he was ten years old and accepted what he did was reckless and what he did was wrong. She said this incident was out of character and asked Judge Rory McCabe to consider applying the Probation Act, as he was unlikely to offend in the future.
Ms Ann-Marie Courell, counsel for Mr Flanagan, said her client was 19 at the time and had initially acted as a peace maker but later got involved in the assault. She also asked Judge MacCabe to be lenient as he could.
Mr Patrick Murphy, counsel for Mr Garvin, said his client was from a decent family but that the death of his father had affected him and he had started drinking. He said Mr Garvin had addiction issues, which he was seeking to address.
Judge McCabe told the three accused that while a lot of alcohol had been consumed, they were old enough to know what they were doing.
In relation to Mr Garvin, he said the probation services had asked for him to come under further supervision and adjourned sentencing until January 31, 2018. Judge McCabe told Mr Gallagher and Mr Flanagan that the assault warranted 100 hours’ community service in lieu of two months’ imprisonment.
However, he said that due to their stage in life and their impressive probation reports, he was inclined to give them the benefit of a conditional discharge, and they were both bound to the peace for three years.

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