Auctioneer beat up sheep farmer after row at Bonagee Mart

An auctioneer at a sheep mart beat up another man who had accused him of bringing the hammer down on a sale too quickly.

28-year-old Declan Robinson of Larganreagh, Downings, beat up Paul Hegarty after a row about an auction at the Bonagee Mart last year.

A Garda witness told Letterkenny District Court that in April, 2010 he was approached by Mr Hegarty who was bleeding heavily.

He claimed he had been attacked by Robinson on Letterkenny’s Ramelton Road a short time earlier.

The Garda said he did not see the assault but had contacted Letterkenny Town Council who provided him with CCTV footage of the attack.

According to Gardai, the CCTV footage showed Mr Hegarty had been punched between 30 and 40 times and was also kicked a number of times.

A hospital report later showed that the victim had a swollen skull, two black eyes, a broken tooth and a number of lacerations to his face.

Solicitor for the accused Ms Carrie Hegarty told the court that the attack was as a result of an earlier altercation at Bonagee Mart.

She revealed how Mr.Hegarty had accused his attacker of bringing down the auctioneer's hammer on the sale of three sheep - before he could bid on them.

She also revealed how the hammer had been snatched out of Robinson’s hand during another auction.

She said her client had never been in trouble before and that had done extensive work for charity in his role as an auctioneer.

She said that shortly after the attack, the father-of-one had left Bonagee Mart where he had been employed and was now jobless.

She added that her client had tried to avoid the victim Mr.Hegarty when he approached him again on the night in question but there was a lot of drink taken.

Judge Paul Kelly said this was a violent assault considering the amount of punches thrown.

Judge Kelly adjourned the case until June 13th for a community service report to see if Robinson was possibly suitable to serve 80 hours community service.

However he warned Robinson that because of the seriousness of the assault, he could still be facing a heavier penalty.