Kildare sisters plead guilty to assault in row over a ‘Romeo’

The case was heard at Naas District Court

Leader reporter


Leader reporter


Kildare sisters plead guilty to assault in row over a ‘Romeo’

The case was heard in Naas

“There is more to this than meets the eye. There is a Romeo involved,” solicitor Matthew Byrne said, when he put forward a robust mitigation for his two clients, who were charged with assault at One New Row, Naas, on December 27, 2015.

At Naas District Court on October 10, Mary Whitley (36), of 11 Aylesbury Park, Newbridge and her sister, Karen Whiteley (39), of 9 Crann Nua, Edenderry Road, Portarlington, each agreed to pay €1,000 to Niamh and Lisa Doyle and, in addition, another €1,000 each to charities.

The women pleaded guilty, but Mr Byrne said they had pleaded guilty to assault against his advice.

They were in the pub at New Row on the date in question, along with Niamh and Lisa Doyle, who are known to the Whiteleys.

The court was told there was a breakdown in communication. Mary threw drink in the face of Lisa Doyle and Karen pulled her hair and “called her a slut”. Mary also hit Niamh Doyle in the face with the bottom end of a glass, but it did not break, leaving her with a lump.

Mr Byrne said the episode arose out of Lisa Doyle's relationship with Karen Whiteley's partner, which Karen had found out about the previous November.

The investigating Garda said that the victim believed that the relationship with the man Mr Byrne described as a “Romeo” was over.

Mr Byrne said Ms Doyle was aware of the Whiteley relationship. “This is a case which has more to it than meets the eye.”

Mr Byrne said Mary Whitley “was also seriously assaulted” but that only his clients were charged.

He questioned the Doyle victim impact statements which stated that they did not go out socially for a long time after the incident. They were out four days later, Facebook showed.

The families had lived near each other and there was a request for reporting restrictions by Mr Byrne, but Lisa Doyle told the court she wanted the Whiteleys named and her name cleared.

Judge Desmond Zaidan said the assaults were very serious and, with glass, could have gone “horribly wrong”.

He said the case could have gone to a jury.

Gardai said there had been no incidents involving the defendants since and they had no previous convictions.

Both Karen and Mary told the court, on oath, they regretted what happened and apologised. The court heard neither party was interested in a form of mediation known as restorative justice.