Man found not guilty of assaulting woman in Tralee

A 25 year old man has been found not guilty of assaulting a woman during the Rose of Tralee Festival almost two years ago. Tralee courthouse Marc O’Shea of 21 Casement’s Avenue had pleaded not guilty to assaulting Catriona Dowling causing her harm in the Square, Tralee on the night of August 14th 2013. At all times the accused said he had acted in self defence during the incident. 25 year old Catriona Dowling from Ballyheigue had claimed that Mr O’Shea grabbed her around the throat, lifted her from the ground and threw her against a shop shutter. CCTV cameras were not pointed towards the incident. In Garda interviews Marc O’Shea said he went over to Miss Dowling with whom he had fallen out with sometime before to make peace. Mr O’Shea said Miss Dowling went mad began shouting and roaring and punched him in the face up to 20 times. The pair was pulled apart by bystanders with Mr O’Shea following her out of the Square where he claims he was attacked by Miss Dowling and her friend Michaela Brosnan who clawed his face with their fingernails. He grabbed their arms and swung them away; Miss Dowling lost her footing and hit her forehead on a shop shutter. He said he didn’t mean for that to happen, he was just defending himself and didn’t want to be fighting Miss Dowling but wanted to be friends. The jury of seven men and five women spent 1 hour and 20 minutes deliberating before returning the not guilty verdict.