Man head-butted friend twice when he made remark about girlfriend

October 12, 2023

A man who head-butted another man he was drinking with in a bar after he took exception to a remark about his girlfriend has appeared in court.

Jason McClay attacked Thomas McGowan as they were socialising at The Lieu’s Bar in Buncrana on June 26th, 2022.

McClay appeared at Buncrana District Court charged with assault causing harm to the victim.

Garda Sergeant Sean McDaid told the court the men were drinking in the bar at 1.30am along with a woman who was McClay’s girlfriend.

A remark was allegedly made by Mr McGowan about McClay’s girlfriend which took exception to.

Mr McGowan said he was head-butted twice and all he remembered then was waking up on the floor.

The court was told that thankfully the victim did not suffer any lasting injuries.

Sergeant McDaid said there was CCTV footage of the incident.

Solicitor for the accused of Kinnego, Buncrana, Mr Rory O’Brien, told the court that there were many facets of the incident which he wouldn’t get into.

However, he added that at the centre of it was his client’s break-up with his partner.

The court was told that McClay had previous convictions for public order and road traffic offences but they were of some vintage.

Judge Éiteáin Cunningham said she appreciated that but given the nature of the charges she may have to record a conviction.

Mr O’Brien replied that the reality was that there was no previous convictions of a similar nature and that his client had met the charges as fairly as possible.

He added that McClay was looking to emigrate and was willing to accept proposals of the court but that to record a convictions would put a stop on his life.

Judge Cunningham said she also appreciated that but that she wanted a Probation and Welfare Report in the case adding that she would have concerns.

Mr O’Brien again stressed the vintage of the previous charges going back to 2014 and assured Judge Cunningham that there was nothing else (charges) coming.

The case was adjourned until January 11th.