Tipperary hurler Cathal Barrett has been convicted of assaulting a barman in Thurles, at a sitting of Thurles District Court.
The All-Star hurler, from Beakstown, Holycross, was found guilty of assaulting Dillon Kerr in Hayes Hotel on May 27th, 2017, and will be sentenced on November 6th.
Cathal Barrett, who denied the charge, and his brother Brian Barrett, who pleaded guilty to assault, were out drinking after a club match last year, when they encountered Mr Kerr at the bar in Hayes Hotel at around 3.30am.
The Court heard that Cathal Barrett had “4 pints” in Holycross, “five vodkas and 7-ups” in the County Bar, Thurles, and “one or two” in a nightclub. Insp. Padraig Powell put it to Barrett that he had 4 pints and eight vodkas. “Yeah, I was grand,” said Mr Barrett.
Brian Barrett became “aggressive” to Mr Kerr, and while Mr Kerr was looking at his phone at the bar as staff relaxed after working, Brian Barrett headbutted Mr Kerr causing him to fall from his stool. Cathal Barrett, who was standing to the right of Mr Kerr then “restrained” Mr Kerr, holding him around the neck.
Mr Kerr said Cathal Barrett told him he was a “c**t” and a “pr**k”.
“I don’t believe I did any violence to him,” said Mr Barrett later under questioning from Insp. Padraig Powell.
Judge Elizabeth MacGrath said she found the facts proven against Cathal Barrett, in that he had “intentionally and recklessly” caused force to be used on Mr Kerr, without Mr Kerr’s consent.
“He said he believed that Mr Kerr was going to attack his brother and that’s why he held him,” said the Judge, but Mr Kerr was in no way aggressive or threatening on the night in question. “There is no evidence to show that Mr Kerr was going to be aggressive, or shouting.”
Sentencing for both the Barrett brothers was adjourned to November 6th, for a Victim Impact Statement and to deal with mitigating evidence.
“I have no doubt that the level of alcohol consumed on the night was quite apparent in this situation,” said Judge MacGrath.
Full unedited report in next week's Tipperary Star.