Dad cleared of breaking son's finger in row over dirty dishes
A father-of-two has been found not guilty of breaking his teenage son's little finger in a row over the washing-up not being done.
The argument started when the man returned home to find his son playing video games while the dishes were still dirty.
The alleged victim (17) said his finger was broken while they struggled.
The accused (42) insisted he acted in self-defence and did not intend to cause the injury.
Judge Kathryn Hutton dismissed the case at Dublin District Court, saying there were inconsistencies in the evidence.
The father denied assault causing harm to his son at their south Dublin home in January 2016.
The alleged victim said his father returned to the house and complained that the dishes were not cleaned and they then had an argument.
"I remember out of frustration and out of anger I called him a faggot," the teenager told the court.
He said he left the room and his father pushed him hard, causing him to slip and fall.
During the subsequent confrontation, the young man put his hands up to his face to defend himself and said his father got hold of his hand.
"I heard a crack and saw that my right pinkie was broken," he said. "I was in a lot of pain and felt frightened."
He said his father then tried to "fix" the finger because he thought it was dislocated.
The teenager got scared and pushed him away before going up to his bedroom.
His father followed him to check that he was OK and the young man grabbed his hurley stick and "warned him not to come any closer".
He subsequently had two operations on his finger and still could not straighten it.
The teenager agreed with Nicola Cox, defending, that his father might have been acting in self-defence.
In his statement, the accused told gardai his son hit him on the back of the head five to six times and he turned around and caught his hand to protect himself.
This "unfortunately resulted in his finger being broken", he added.