Two years for Ballyshannon assault

Two brothers from Ballyshannon were handed two year sentences today for attacking a 37-year-old man.

Two brothers from Ballyshannon were handed two year sentences today for attacking a 37-year-old man.

Daniel Devanney (26) and Joseph Devanney (23) of 69 St Benildus Avenue appeared before Donegal Circuit Court for sentencing. They both pleaded guilty to a Section 3 assault causing harm on Richard Matthews (37) of Ballyshannon on December 28, 2010.

The court heard that the injured party went to a chipper on Castle Street at around 1.20am. He saw men, one of whom he knew, sitting on the window. He made a comment about the chipper being closed and a row ensued.

Mr Matthews told gardaí in his statement: “At least two of them tore into me, throwing punches at me”.

He was taken by ambulance to Altnagelvin Hospital where he was operated on for a fractured right cheekbone after which he remained in hospital for two days. He also suffered a black eye, dislocated nose and blurry vision. He later told gardaí: “I never regained the feeling in my top right teeth and am unable to know when I’m biting on food. I might lose the teeth.”

He was unable to resume his work on oil rigs in Norway for two months.

He added: “The attack was totally unprovoked, it makes me feel uncomfortable in my own home town. I have a young family and I think this has affected them as well. I would like to prevent this happening to anyone else.”

Joseph Devanney, who has seven previous convictions, mainly for road traffic offences, was arrested later that night for a public order offence and admitted to his part in the assault.

Daniel Devanney presented himself at Ballyshannon Garda Station early the next morning and also admitted his role.

Garda Paul White told the court he believed that Joseph Devanney was “a minor player” in the attack.

Judge O’Hagan said the severity of the attack, the existence of previous convictions particularly regarding Daniel Devanney, and the prevalence of these kind of incidents were all aggravating factors.

The age of the defendants, their background, and their early admission of guilt were all mitigating factors as was the probation report in the case of Joseph Devanney.

He said: “With regard to Daniel Devanney, I have no option but to impose a custodial sentence and I am sentencing him to two years.

“I think Joseph stands alone in that he is not as culpable and I am sentencing him to two years but substituting 240 hours community service in lieu of prison.”