Monday 24 October 2016

Man in court over bottle attack on tourist who was in country just two hours

James McDonagh (20)
James McDonagh (20)

A young man accused of assaulting a tourist who was struck over the head with a broken bottle could have further charges brought against him, a court heard.

James McDonagh (20) is alleged to have attacked and injured Dafydd Hughes (45), who suffered head injuries in an incident as he waited to board a tourist bus in Dublin city centre.

Mr Hughes, who is from Wales but lives in Cheltenham, England, had been in Ireland for under two hours when the alleged incident happened on O'Connell Street.

Mr McDonagh had the case against him adjourned at Dublin District Court.

He is charged with one count of assault causing harm to Mr Hughes on July 18 last.

The alleged offence is under Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

Mr McDonagh appeared in court for the second time since he was charged in July.

His solicitor Amanda Connolly said the case was before the court for the directions of the Director of Public Prosecutions to be made available.

She said she understood the prosecution was seeking more time to get directions.


A garda sergeant confirmed this, and said a file was being prepared for the DPP and asked Judge Anthony Halpin to adjourn the case for 12 weeks.

Judge Halpin granted the adjournment and noted that there were "possible further charges" to be considered.

Mr McDonagh, of St Mary's Halting Site, Cappagh, Finglas, did not address the court during the brief hearing.

Wearing a grey shirt, blue jeans and black runners, he walked to the front of the court from where he had been standing at the back when his name was called by the court registrar.

He was before the court for just a few seconds before his case was adjourned and he then left the Criminal Courts of Justice complex on Parkgate Street.

He has not yet indicated how he intends to plead to the charge.

Under Section 3 of the Non Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, anybody convicted of assault causing harm at District Court level can be sentenced to a maximum 12 months' imprisonment.

Anyone convicted on indictment in the Circuit Court can be sentenced to a maximum of five years in jail.

Those convicted can also be given a fine in addition or instead of a prison sentence.

Mr Hughes, a father-of-two, had only been in Ireland for an hour and 50 minutes at the time of the alleged incident.

He was with his sons Logan (11) and Joe (17), as well as his sister Sian and other relatives at the time.

His sister Sian, a doctor, tended to his wounds and they continued with their bus tour.

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