Downings father and son guilty of affray
A Downings father and son pleaded guilty to taking part in a group attack on a tourist where they head butted and used a pool cue to beat their victim.
42-year-old Patrick McGeever, a father of six, of 28 Beach Park, Downings, was charged with causing a breach of the peace and affray in Downing on August 4, 2009.
18-year-old Nicholas McGeever of the same address was charged with the same offences and also charged under the Fire Arms and Offensive Weapons Act for the production of an article during the course of a dispute.
An assault charged against both men was withdrawn.
Garda Sergeant Christy Galligan explained that the father and son were part of a group of five that left regular Downings visitor, Mr Kevin O'Hagan of Keady in Co. Armagh, requiring hospital treatment. One man is currently serving a prison term for his role the incident.
He said that after investigating the incident it was understood that Mr O'Hagan had been drink "quite a lot" on the day and was walking through the Main street at approximately 2pm with his 8-year-old daughter when a plastic bottle was kicked at him, striking him in the arm.
Sgt Galligan said Kevin O'Hagan "took umbrage" at this and got "very angry" and threaten the person he believed was responsible.
He said a "bit of pushing and shoving" resulted in "fisticuffs" where a number of punches were thrown by both sides and Kevin O'Hagan ended up being kicked and punched on the ground.
Nicolas McGeever initially intervened to help calm the situation when he punched by O'Hagan, the Sgt said.
After this he ran back to his father, who arrived back at the scene with him.
Nicholas McGeever, who has no previous convictions, was armed with a pool cue and stuck the man while his father head butted him.
Patrick McGeever has a number of previous convictions for Public Order offences as well as assault causing harm dating back to 1998 where he received a two year suspended prison sentence in 2000.
Solicitor Seamus Gunne said the matter arose out of a "unfortunate set of circumstances.
He says despite the incident both parties had "made up" and were now on good terms.
The solicitor said the victim has a caravan in the area and was now building a holiday home.
He said Nicolas McGeever neither kicked the bottle that started the row nor struck O'Hagan first and was a juvenile at the time of the incident.
He said Patrick McGeever, a separated father of six children, " got dragged into a situation" but should not have done what he did.
He said he was needed in the home to help look after his children as three of them were under 12.
Judge Seamus Hughes asked the defence to make an offer of compensation to the victim, who was not in court.
He rejected their initial offer of €1,000 but accepted one of €3,000.
He said the photographs of the injuries sustained were "appalling" adding Patrick McGeever should have learned his lesson in 2000 after he was convicted of a "most serious assault".
He described him as "a nasty bit of work" and Leaving Cert student Nicolas, now had "the sins of his father visited on his son".
He adjourned the case to February 28 for them to raise the compensation money and for the preparation of a probation and community services reports.