A man was fishing on the Coshclady river in July of last year when a man ran up the bank claiming to be a bailiff and accused him of poaching.
Shaun McClafferty told Dungloe District Court that the man then said that he was taking his fishing rod. McClafferty called out to him telling him to leave “the f****** rod alone” but as he approached the bank he was kicked twice and fell against the riverside. He told the court that his colostomy bag had been ripped during the incident.
McClafferty told the court that the man whom he yet didn’t know said that he was to report him to Jerome Kelly. It later transpired that the name said was PJ Kelly which Mr. McClafferty said was correct.
Mr. McClafferty saw the jeep that he was driving and went to his nephew’s home to wash up. He told the court that he was bleeding and bruised and before reporting the incident to the gardaí he went to the doctor who advised him to call to Letterkenny General Hospital the next day. The next time that Mr. McClafferty saw this man he drove past him on lower main street in Letterkenny. Mr. McClafferty watched the man park at a house opposite Black’s Centra. He waited ten or fifteen minutes and when a woman approached he feigned being lost and asked a lady who lived in the home.
“I am looking for Pat McGee,” McClafferty said to the lady. She told him that the home to which he was alluding to was the home of Keith Shanahan. McClafferty reported the details to the gardaí. McClafferty was asked if he could identify the man who had assaulted him in the court. He pointed to Keith Shanahan, 43, of lower main street, Letterkenny and said that he was 300 per cent certain that it was him.
He said that he had never seen this man before the incident and that he could offer no reason as to why he was kicked.
In his evidence, Shanahan said he had never seen Mr. McClafferty before. He told the court he was a keen fisherman. He admitted to being in the area on the 20th. The incident had taken place on July 21.
He denied the assault saying he had no reason to assault McClafferty. He told the court that he knew of PJ Kelly. He said that he had no view on those who poach. Shanahan had no recollection where he went the previous day after fishing or the following morning and said that he was familiar with fishing on the river.
Judge Paul Kelly said that there seemed to be no motive behind the incident. “Mr. McClafferty is very persistent with his description and is also consistent in his evidence. The jeep which was described by Mr. McClafferty was in the possession of the same man. I am satisfied that the incident did take place but I don’t understand why,” he said. The case was put back to Oct. 25.