A frail pensioner who had been found guilty of attacking a man with a stick in a row over turf on a Donegal bog has had her conviction overturned.

Annie Healy, who is in her 70s, had previously been found guilty of assaulting Charles O’Donnell at a bog in Lettermacaward on April 23rd, 2017.

The court heard how Mr O’Donnell of Derrydruel arrived at the bog at 9am having spent the previous evening filling bags of turf.

However, when he arrived he claimed he found Ms Healy and another person shifting the bags to another location.

A stand-off ensued and he claimed that Ms Healy then picked up a stick and struck him with it in the forehead and face.

Photos of his injuries were shown to Judge John Aylmer during the district court appeal hearing at Letterkenny Circuit Court.

Mr O’Donnell also claimed that the driver of a turf-cutting machine, Patrick Bonner also attacked him by kicking him.

Both Mr Bonner and Mrs Healy deny that any assault ever took place on Mr O’Donnell.

However, on his evidence, the alleged victim said “She had gone mad and started using abusive language. I was in a daze for a time after she hit me.”

Letterkenny courthouse. Pic by Donegal Daily.

He added that he left the bog immediately and contacted the Gardai.

Mrs Healy, of Driumlaghdrid, Lettermacaward, denied she ever struck Mr O’Donnell but said he had had it in for her family for many years.

When cross-examined by her own solicitor, Mr Cormac Hartnett, Mrs Healt replied: “At my age, how would I have lifted a stick that heavy?”

Mr Bonner denied that he had even got off his machine and denied that he ever kicked Mr O’Donnell.

Having considered the matter, Jude Aylmer said there was no degree of proof needed in the case that Mr O’Donnell had actually been assaulted.

He allowed the appeal in the case and struck out the charges of assault against Mrs Healy and Mr Bonner.


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