A 66 year-old Kildare man who his neighbour with a saw has been convicted of assault.
Oliver Byrne, Baltreacey, Donadea, who had difficulty in hearing and had the support of his daughter in the case at Kilcock District Court, heard in Naas on September 19, pleaded guilty to assaulting Seamus Kennedy.
He had no previous convictions.
The Court was told that on December 17, Mr Byrne got into an argument with Mr Kennedy at around 3.40pm that afternoon over words Mr Kennedy had with Mr Byrne’s daughter.
He hit Mr Kennedy with a saw on the head.
Mr Byrne was doing some work with a saw at the time and said that he did not bring it out to the meeting with Mr Kennedy, but had it in his hand, because he was afraid some young children at the house might get hurt.
Sarah Connolly BL, representing Mr Byrne, said there was a long running history of difficulties between the two men but this (the District Court) was not the forum for hearing about them.
She also said that Mr Byrne, who had lived in the house for around fifteen years, was in the process of selling.
Mr Byrne, she said, did not intend assaulting Mr Kennedy with the saw, but tensions were high.
Mr Kennedy said he had to go to Naas Hospital after the assault.
It required four stitches and they glued the skin together.
“I’m alright now,” said Mr Kennedy, who said he will be 66 years old in October.
Judge Desmond Zaidan said at this point: “Just a week before Christmas.”
Mr Kennedy continued: “I seem to be alright. I had a few headaches, but they seem to have cleared up.”
Mr Kennedy said he had no difficulty up to that day, and that he knew Mr Byrne as long as the latter was in the house, about 12 to 14 years.
He went on to say: “Only I had a cap (on my head) there would have been more damage.”
Mr Kennedy describing the incident said: “He was like a raging bull. His wife and son in law pulled him back.”
Mr Byrne, the defendant, said: “I didn’t mean to hit the man. I wanted him to stay away from my daughter.”
Ms Connolly said Mr Byrne apologised.
She said Mr Byrne was offering €750 to give to Mr Kennedy as a gesture of remorse.
“He wants to forget the incident and move away. He was never before Court before.”
Judge Zaidan said the “assault could have gone horribly wrong” and it was fortunate that it did not.
He said it stood in Mr Byrne’s favour that he did not pick up the saw after the argument started, or he could have been sent to jail.
Judge Zaidan said Mr Kennedy was blameless. The judge asked Mr Byrne to give €1,000 to Mr Kennedy.
He convicted Mr Byrne of the the assault and fined him €750.