Woman struck on face with beer bottle in bar fight

November 15, 2020

A WOMAN struck another woman in the face with a beer bottle after believing the victim to have made remarks about her late mother.

Rebecca Friel (24) of Bridgend, Ramelton, appeared at Letterkenny District Court, charged with using threatening, abusive or insulting words or behaviour and also with assault.

At 3am on April 20, 2019, Gardaí responded to an alleged assault on Charmain Murray at the Lennon Lodge, Ramelton.

Garda Doyle met Ms Murray, whose left eye was swollen, black and had a cut to the left side of her face.

Ms Murray told Gardai that she had finished work in Steve’s Cafe and called to the Lennon Lodge to meet with friends.

It was alleged that Friel came from the smoking area, approached Ms Murray and ‘started mouthing’.

Some time later, Ms Murray was at the counter and Friel was at the table opposite.

Friel approached Ms Murray and ‘brought up history’. Friel was alleged to have spat at Ms Murray, who reacted defensively and pushed her back.

The court heard that Friel struck the victim with a bottle of Coors.

Photos of Ms Murray’s injuries were submitted to the court.

Friel later made admissions at Milford Garda Station. She admitted assault after recalling ‘something being said about her late mother which made her angry’.

Friel’s solicitor, Mr Frank Dorrian, said his client’s mother had passed away the previous September. The defendant, he said, had ‘got it into her head that some others were making fun of her mother.

“She is confident that she is wrong, but she became ever more paranoid,” Mr Dorrian said. “My client was at a particularly low ebb. She was increasingly agitated and paranoid and was managing her grieving very poorly,”

In the immediate lead-up, Mr Dorrian said, Friel had spoken with Ms Murray in the smoking area and then they had a further exchange.

He said: “Unfortunately she lashed out to strike with a bottle in her hand. Luckily, Ms Murray was not too badly injured.

“My client had a good deal to drink. Although alcohol has never played a role in her life, she was drinking beer and shots for most of the day.”

Mr Dorrian said his client was a 24-year-old who worked for a multi-national company. Friel has no previous convictions.

“She regrets this completely,” Mr Dorrian said, “She is as apologetic as can be and is determined to put matters as right as she can.”

Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the matter until January 18 to allow for the preparation of a probation report and a victim impact statement.



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