Farmer Jailed for Violent Attack and False Accusations Against 64-Year-Old Neighbor

Cork, Ireland – A farmer from Ballyanly, Inniscarra, Co Cork has been sentenced to two and a half years in jail for a sustained assault on his 64-year-old neighbor, Mary O’Brien Daly. Hugh O’Brien, 52, exhibited disruptive behavior in the courtroom during his sentencing, including verbally attacking a garda and making false accusations. These actions led to his removal from the courtroom, where he continued to follow the proceedings via video link.

The incident occurred when O’Brien confronted O’Brien Daly at her home, accusing her of stealing his mother’s mail for over two decades. The confrontation quickly turned violent, with O’Brien assaulting O’Brien Daly, who suffered injuries including a mini-stroke and “broken heart syndrome” in the aftermath. Despite previous mail mix-ups between the two neighbors, the attack was deemed “completely unprovoked” by Det Garda Mick Dolan, highlighting the severity of the situation.

In court, O’Brien Daly recounted the harrowing experience, describing O’Brien’s aggressive actions and alarming statements during the assault. The impact of the attack on her life was profound, with O’Brien Daly expressing ongoing fear for her safety due to the defendant’s proximity and history of violence. Amidst pleas for leniency from O’Brien’s sister, who is now the sole caretaker of their mother, the judge handed down a three-year sentence, suspending the last six months given the family circumstances.

Judge Colin Daly emphasized the seriousness of the unprovoked attack on a vulnerable woman in her own home, noting O’Brien’s prior convictions for assault. Despite O’Brien’s vocal protests of innocence, the jury’s guilty verdict stood, leading to his immediate remand in custody pending sentencing. O’Brien’s disruptive behavior throughout the proceedings further underscored the volatile nature of the individual involved, culminating in his removal from the courtroom during sentencing.

The impact of the assault on O’Brien Daly extended beyond physical injuries, triggering a series of medical complications. She expressed a deep sense of fear and apprehension regarding the defendant’s potential for further violence, citing ongoing monitoring and proximity as causes for concern. Despite O’Brien’s insistence on his innocence and attempts to address the court post-sentencing, Judge Daly maintained the finality of the proceedings, directing O’Brien to consider his right of appeal in response to the verdict.