herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Honesty is clearly still the best policy

Dublin footballer Diarmuid Connolly launched a vicious, unprovoked attack on a man in a pub two years ago.

While he has shown remorse, done community service and paid compensation, the notable thing about the case this week is not that Connolly was spared a jail sentence, but the fact that the case was dismissed outright.

Instead of Connolly being put on probation, with a record of his assault, the striking out means that - in law at least - it will be as though it never happened.

District Court judge Patrick Clyne said he was well-disposed towards Connolly because he had "done all that had been asked of him through a series of restorative justice measures".

Remorse and honesty are admirable traits, but should they be sufficient to absolve someone of guilt?

Limerick beauty queen Gemma Reilly - who was fined after being clocked doing 187kph while late for a dental appointment - was similarly praised by judge Patrick Durcan for her "refreshing" honesty.

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"I am not disqualifying you from holding a driver's licence because you have been absolutely honest in how you have dealt with the matter and I want to commend you on that," he said.

It seems there is a lesson to be learned from all of this - honesty is clearly the best policy.

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