Irish international road bowler Sean Kiely, who has appeared at international championships, has been awarded €10,000 personal injury compensation due the injuries that he sustained when he was punched during a fight when he was on a night out in Newmarket in 2018. He said that has not been in a position to go back to the sport that he loves so much.
The man who struck him – Michael Hourigan with an address at Coolagh, Newmarket, Co Cork – entered a plea of guilty to a charge of assaulting Sean Kiely at Gurranawarrig Upper, Newmarket, County Cork. The judge was informed that Mr Hourigan had brought €10,000 compensation with him to court for the injured party.
Speaking about the assault, presiding Judge Justice Seán Ó Donnabháin informed the court that said the charge of simple assault only carried a maximum possible prison sentence of six months and/or a maximum fine of €2,500. He added: “It is the lowest category of assault on the statute books. That is what the accused man pleaded guilty to.”
Siobhán Lankford, senior counsel appearing for the defence, informed the judge that the accused had been initially prosecuted for assault causing harm but the Director of Public Prosecutions accepted a plea of guilty to the simple assault charge. He was convicted and fined €1,000 at Cork Circuit Criminal Court by Judge Ó Donnabháin.
The injured party, Seán Kiely, said in his victim impact statement: “I loved road bowling as a sport but ever since the assault my heart has not been in it to go back playing. I represented Ireland in the European Championships in Holland in 2016 and had intended doing the trials for the 2020 championships but I didn’t have the confidence in myself to compete in the sport I love. However, even though I have missed out on this year’s trials I do hope to start back playing again this year. I have since tried to go back running without success.”
In the court Garda Micheál Dennehy described the course of events that lef to Mr Kiely being injured. He said the incident occurred on June 3 2018, outside the Highlands in Newmarket at 3,30am. A fight has begun there and ‘worked; its way down onto the road.
Garda Dennehy said: “Mr Kiely and his friends were in some kind of argument and Mr Kiely was punched in the face resulting in him falling. The defendant is a married man living in Newmarket who would not be coming to the attention of gardaí before this or since.”
Ms Lankford said the defendant was 42 years old and that he did throw a punch during a melee hitting Mr Kiely in the face. She said: “There was certainly a lot of movement and aggravation at the time.”