A rising young GAA star has been told to come up with €10,000 by next month if he wants to avoid four months in jail.
Oisin Walsh from Gaelic Park in Bundoran knocked two teeth from the mouth of Shane McGloin with a headbutt, after an exchange over two GAA teams at a party in a private house, in Bundoran, last year, Ballyshannon District Court heard.
Both young men had previously sat side by side in school.
When the defendant realised what happened, he apologised to his victim and asked him how much he wanted for his two teeth.
The 20-year-old accused told the court “It is not me at all, I think about it every day.”
Judge Kevin Kilrane adjourned the case to allow the defendant, who had pleaded guilty, to come up with the cash.
Oisin Walsh, Gaelic Park Drive, Bundoran pleaded guilty to assaulting Shane McGloin causing him harm, at 7 Doran Park on August 24 2020.
In sentencing the defendant, Judge Kilrane said a “fist is bad but a headbutt is worse.”
He said the attack was unprovoked and the injured party had no chance to defend himself.
In evidence, Shane McGloin told the court he had two teeth knocked out after the defendant had headbutted him at a party in Bundoran.
The teeth had landed in his hand.
He said that Oisin Walsh was talking to this girl “out the back” who was from Carrick-On-Shannon.
She asked the witness if Carrick-On-Shannon football team was better than Bundoran.
When the witness agreed that they were, he said the defendant got angry and headbutted him.
The witness said his attacker accused him of being “cheeky” because the witness laughed towards him.
He added that after the headbutt, his two teeth flew out, and he was taken away
The witness said he had been at school with the defendant.
He met the gardai up the town and told them what happened.
McGloin said the costs of dental work so far had come to €150.
He was now wearing plastic teeth.
Superintendent Colm Nevin said the costs were substantial and came to €10,000.
McGloin agreed with defence solicitor Tom MacSharry that the two young men had been friends and used to sit beside each other in school.
He agreed that he used to get lunch in the defendant’s home.
“That was a long time ago,” the witness replied.
The solicitor said that while it was no excuse, there was alcohol on board.
Mr MacSharry said his client had written a letter of apology.
“He and his family know that you have suffered greatly and there will be compensation to cover any loss that you have incurred.”
Mr MacSharry said the defendant had never been in court before.
Oisin Walsh told the court he realised the injured party had suffered greatly and his recovery would need a lot of work.
“I wrote a letter of apology and I am saying I am sorry again. It is not like me and I think about it every day.”
He told the court he was an apprentice carpenter and he intended going to college to do construction studies.
Mr MacSharry told the court there were very impressive testimonials as to the defendant’s character and his prowess as a GAA footballer.
The defendant told the court that he had played for Donegal U-20 Gaelic footballers in the Ulster final last year and had a few trials for the Donegal senior county team as well.
He had gone to the gardai and was fully co-operative and he accepted that Shane McGloin, “did not deserve this.”
The defendant said he “felt spittle on my face”.
“The only person in front of me was Shane.”
But the defendant accepted that the injured party had “done nothing wrong.”
He added that a “fight broke out and he was pulled away.”
He added “Shane’s teeth were out, and I went over to him and I said I would pay for the damage.
In mitigation, Mr MacSharry said this was a very serious case for his client who had no previous convictions.
He said the young man had a very bright future and the testimonials about his character and his football ability were very impressive.
The defendant was in court with his father and would offer any compensation necessary.
A conviction would have “consequences” for the defendant and “we are at the mercy of the court.”
The defendant was fully co-operative at the “first available opportunity.”
In telling the defendant to come up with €10,000 by May or face four months in jail, Judge Kilrane said that “fit strong young men did not know their own strength.”
“Unfortunately, this type of assault is becoming all too familiar.”
The judge said if the cash was paid the “court would not necessarily leave you with a conviction.”
The judge added that the E10,000 would be taken into account in any further compensation being awarded to the injured part.
The defendant was remanded on continuing bail until May 7.