Men jailed for six months for stag party assault

Two men from Northern Ireland who assaulted two men in a Letterkenny Hotel have been jailed from six months.

Two men from Northern Ireland who assaulted two men in a Letterkenny Hotel have been jailed from six months.

Fergal McTague of 6a Drumeil Road, Aghadowey, Coleraine, Co. Derry and Ultan McTague of 29 Killycoogan Road, Portglenone, Co. Antrim were jailed at Letterkenny Circuit Court after being found guilty of assaulting two men from County Monaghan in Dillon’s Hotel in the town while attending a stag party on May 9th 2010.

Gavin Sheridan sustained fractures to his face while his friend Michael Farnan was also injured during the assault which took place outside their room following a night out in the town.

Garda Madigan told the court that the two friends exited the lift to go to their room when a number of men came out of a room and started acting aggressively towards them. The men accused them of banging on their room door and then assaulted them.

Mr Sheridan put his hands up to protect his face and while his friend managed to make it to his room. Mr Sheridan then continued to be assaulted.

After gardaí were alerted Mr Sheridan was taken to hospital by ambulance. Gardaí visited the room the assailants came out of and eventually found the McTagues in another room that had been booked by the stag party. The two men denied being involved although their clothes were stained with blood. DNA tests later proved the blood belonged to the two victims. Garda Madigan said there was not satisfactory co-operation from the two defendants, they were both later found guilty of assault and assault causing harm by a jury at Letterkenny Circuit Court.

Peter Nolan (BL) for Fergal McTague said the 39-year-old father of two children was a chartered accountant who was about to be made unemployed because the company he worked for was being wound down. He said his client was from a stable family background and that the incident was entirely out of character.

He said McTague rarely consumes alcohol but on this occasion he did and the situation got out of hand. McTague regretted his involvement in the offence, he said. “He is no way a drinker and he is good upstanding member of society,” he said.

Fiona Crawford (BL) for Ultan McTague said the 27-year-old plasterer is married with two children. She said he was from a hard-working respectable family and had never been in trouble before. “He is a hard working young man who has worked all his life,” she said.

Judge John O’Hagan said photographs showed there was a lot of blood in the corridor afterwards. He said victim impact reports showed the two victims feel their lives have been in upheaval since the incident. He said the accused tried to deny the unprovoked and savage assault. “The most shocking part is the arrogance,” he said. He said he was not sure if the two men accepted that they were to blame. Aggravating factors include the sheer violence and unprovoked nature of the assault and the total denial of guilt.

The judge said he had no choice but to give custodial sentences and sentenced both men to one year in prison with half of each sentence suspended.