10 Aug 2022

Tipperary courts: Woman is found guilty of assaulting another female

Dispute stemmed from difficulties among children

Tipperary courts: Woman is found guilty of assaulting another female

Nenagh Court: Woman is found guilty of assaulting another female

A woman who was involved in a row with another woman from the same housing estate was found guilty of assault at Nenagh Court.

Marie Toohey of 1 Cormack Drive, Nenagh, had denied assaulting Yvonne Delahunty at Cormack Drive on March 8, 2018.

The court heard that that on that day some of Ms Toohey’s children called to Ms Delahunty’s home looking for her 12-year-old daughter.

When she said her daughter was not home and closed the door, the children began kicking and knocking on the door and calling her daughter names.

Ms Delahunty later went to Ms Toohey’s house and found her outside talking to someone who was in a car.

She asked to speak to her alone and Ms Toohey told her to “f*** off” and that she would not talk to her.

"I told her that I wanted her daughter to stay away from my daughter and from my house," she said

She claimed she was then grabbed by her pigtail by Ms Toohey and dragged to the ground and punched in the face. Her glasses were broken in the incident.

Ms Delahunty said that her partner then came on the scene and she got into his car and went to the garda station.

"I was sick in the garda station and they were concerned for my blood pressure. They insisted I got to hospital because they were afraid I had head injuries," she said.

Ms Delahunty went to Limerick but returned to Nenagh hospital. She said her eyes were closed, she had headaches and her nose was sore for days after the incident.

"My face started to swell more," she said.

Cross-examined by solicitor Gary Keogh, for Ms Toohey, she said that she had been living in Cormack Drive for about one month prior to the incident.

She said that her daughter did not want to play with the Toohey children.

She had gone around to Ms Toohey on the day of the assault as she was "asking another mother to speak to her daughter to leave my daughter alone".

She denied headbutting Ms Toohey's daughter Katlyn on the day or that she had arrived "roaring and looking for a confrontation".

Garda Eileen O'Reilly said that Ms Delahunty had arrived at Nenagh garda station in a distressed state and had been clearly upset.

She said she took Ms Delahunty to the doctor's room and noticed her eyes were badly bruised and almost closed.

An ambulance was called to take her to hospital and she made a statement the following day.

Garda O'Reilly said that she arrested Ms Toohey on April 16, 2018 and in her cautioned statement Ms Toohey replied "no comment" to all questions relating to the assault.

Garda O'Reilly subsequently charged Ms Toohey with assault and criminal damage.

Katlyn Toohey said that they were outside their house talking to her grandmother and Theresa McInerney when Ms Delahunty came around the corner "shouting and roaring".

"She headbutted me. I defended myself. My mother tried to separate us," she said.

At this Ms McInerney got out of the car and stopped the incident, she said.

"I didn't see my mother strike Ms Delahunty," she said.

Under cross-examination by Insp Amanda Reynolds, Ms Toohey said that she had gone around to the Delahunty house earlier because she had been told that the Delahunty children had "egged our door".

She denied she had been aggressive at the house or that she had kicked or banged the Delahunty door.

Theresa McInerney said that she was a long standing friend of the Tooheys and that day there had been some confusion over who was going to collect Ms Toohey's mother-in-law from hospital.

She said that herself and another person collected Mary Toohey and they rang Marie Toohey, who came back to Cormack Drive.

"A lady came around the corner quite aggressively," she said. "Marie Toohey had nothing to do with her. The lady was throwing headbutts and was out of control."

Ms McInerney said that she remained in her car and didn't intervene because it was "nothing to do with me".

Mr Keogh asked Judge Elizabeth MacGrath to dismiss the case on the basis of a conflict of evidence.

"There was some dispute between the children and the allegations are serious but because of the evidence there has to be some doubt," he said.

Rejecting his appeal, Insp Reynolds said: "Nobody sustained injuries except Ms Delahunty."

Judge MacGrath said that Ms Delahunty had clearly suffered injuries and convicted Ms Toohey as charged.

In mitigation, Mr Keogh said his client was separated with six children.

"She has had a difficult enough life and is responsible for the whole family," he said.

Judge MacGrath said she was concerned that the issue stemmed from children, that they were all still in Cormack Drive and Ms Delahunty's children still had some level of fear.

In her victim personal statement to the court, Ms Delahunty said that the assault had had a mental impact on her for months after the incident.

"I couldn't answer the door because I was in fear," she said.

She said that her daughter had also been affected and because of bullying was attending counselling.

"The impact is ongoing on my daughter. I would like to draw a line under it today," she said.

Ms Delahunty said that her heart "broke for any young daughter to see her mother and sister beat up a woman".

Judge MacGrath asked Ms Toohey to gave an undertaking to the court that neither Ms Delahunty nor her family had any reason to fear from her.

She also stated that she had the ability to control her children

She adjourned the case to next October to see how the parties are getting on and to ensure that the undertaking was being complied with.

Judge MacGrath gave the gardaí liberty to re-enter the case with seven days' notice.

To continue reading this article for FREE,
please kindly register and/or log in.

Registration is absolutely 100% FREE and will help us personalise your experience on our sites. You can also sign up to our carefully curated newsletter(s) to keep up to date with your latest local news!

Register / Login

Buy the e-paper of the Donegal Democrat, Donegal People's Press, Donegal Post and Inish Times here for instant access to Donegal's premier news titles.

Keep up with the latest news from Donegal with our daily newsletter featuring the most important stories of the day delivered to your inbox every evening at 5pm.