THE death of man had nothing to do with his involvement in a brawl in Kiltegan a day beforehand, a court was told. Garda Marc Pender made the comment in the case of three men who were involved in a brawl at a christening party in Kiltegan on 11 November 2018.
The late Keith Smith had been part of the fight and died a day later. At a sitting of Carlow District Court last week, Garda Pender said: “It raised the question mark whether he had received injuries that could have been attributed to the assault. The post mortem results were quite clear. He did not receive any injury that could be attributed to the fight. In actual fact, he passed away from asphyxiation.”
Forty-seven-year-old Thomas McDermott, Parkmore, Baltinglass, Jordan Kelly (22) of Carigeen, Baltinglass, and 19-year-old Cody Smith, Lathleer, Baltinglass pleaded guilty to affray outside the Talk of the Town pub in Kiltegan. Judge Geraldine Carthy bound all three to the peace for 12 months so that all parties could move on in a positive way.
At the outset of the case, Garda Pender said there had been a christening ‘after party’ in the Talk of the Town public house.
Cody Smith’s child was being christened. Keith Smith was Cody’s father and the child’s grandfather. Thomas McDermott was the father of Cody’s partner and also the child’s grandfather. Jordan Kelly and Cody Smith were also cousins.
“There was a lot of drink consumed over the course of the day,” said Garda Pender. “Everything was quite peaceful, no hostilities until around 9.20pm. At this time, Keith Smith was standing outside with Thomas McDermott and Cody Smith. They were having cigarettes.”
There was dispute between Thomas McDermott and Keith Smith, the court was told.
“A brawl erupted,” said Garda Pender. “A lot of punching, kicking between the parties. Jordan Kelly raced out of the pub and joined the brawl.
“The fight settled down, but 20 minutes later a second brawl broke out outside the pub, which involved Keith Smith, Jordan Kelly, Cody Smith and Thomas McDermott. There were other people involved in this brawl who were drinking in the pub but could not be identified.”
This second fight lasted for two minutes and there were no further incidents. Keith Smith then passed away the day after.
Garda Pender said all three men were forthcoming and as a result the director of public prosecutions had directed that matters be summarily dealt with in the district court.
Jordan Kelly’s solicitor Joe Farrell said that there could be half-a-dozen other people in court based on CCTV footage of the incident. Mr Farrell said his client was bettering himself in an electrical apprenticeship and appealed for him to be bound to the peace. “There is little doubt that he will need garda clearance at some stage,” said the solicitor.
Cody Smith was represented in court by solicitor Nichola Delaney. Mr Smith and Mr Kelly had no previous convictions.
Judge Carthy said it was a “very serious matter”. Judge Carthy said the impact of a criminal record includes whether you could even train a soccer and football team.
“It was, no doubt, not your brightest hour,” she said.
Judge Carthy said to Mr Smith that he needed to set “an example” for his child.
The judge bound the pair to the peace for a period of 12 months.
“If you do not comply, you will come before me again and it will be dealt with in another forum,” she said. “I hope this is a lesson well learned and you can move on from here … the power is in both your hands in respect of the matter.”
Mr McDermott, who was represented by solicitor John O’Sullivan, had previous convictions for public order and road traffic offences. Judge Cathy said it was only fair to offer Mr McDermott the opportunity she had given to the other two defendants.
“You are a grandfather to a young baby,” she said. “I want to leave you all going forward that relations are intact in a positive way to the benefit of the young child.”