Former Donegal inter-county footballer Kevin Cassidy has been handed down a community service order for his part in a violent fracas outside a Donegal nightclub four years ago.
Cassidy, of Derrybeg, Gweedore - who was controversially dropped from the Donegal football panel last year - was given 180 hours community service in lieu of six months in prison after pleading guilty to affray in Derrybeg on August 24th 2008.
He was one of five men sentenced at Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday in connection with the incident. His brother Stephen, also of Derrybeg, was given 240 hours community service after pleading guilty to assault causing harm by biting Shaun Maguire on the ear.
Michael Maguire and Niall Maguire, both of Ardsbeg, Gortahork were both sentenced to 180 hours of community service in lieu of six months in prison for their part in the incident. Their brother Shaun received 50 hours instead of six months in prison.
The court heard the row developed after Kevin Cassidy emerged from the Voodoo nightclub in Derrybeg at around 2am with blood coming from his nose claiming he had been assaulted by the Maguires. Sgt Jim Collins told the court the Cassidys were ordered to leave the area and go home. They remained there and when the Maguires were seen walking through the car park they ran towards them. The Maguires in turn ran towards the Cassidys when they saw them approach.
Sgt Collins said he received kicks and punches as he tried to separate the two groups. Other people also got involved in the melee. Shaun Maguire had a 1 cm part of his left ear bitten off and was bleeding profusely. The Cassidys ran from the scene pursued by others and a garda van followed the factions. Kevin Cassidy and Niall Maguire were seen punching one another.
Judge John O’Hagan said all the young men got caught up in a nasty affair and all of them “will have to suffer the effects on your record”. The judge said they were all in it together. “The two warring factions approached one another in the street after being told to go home and they decided to have a go at one another.”