Judge brands Tralee man “a coward” for assaulting his ex-partner with a hockey stick

A judge has branded a Tralee man “a coward” for assaulting his ex-partner with a hockey stick.

Damien Fealy of 17 Riverweir House, Oakview Village, Tralee had pleaded guilty to four counts of assault causing harm, two charges of threatening to kill or cause serious harm and one count of false imprisonment.

In her victim impact statement, she claimed she still carries physical and mental scars from the incidents.

During sentencing, Judge Eoin Garavan labelled the accused a coward for the astounding savagery imposed on a young woman, while commending the victim for her bravery.

Mr Fealy faced four assault charges, which related to his then-partner; the first occurred on September 1st, 2015 in Clounalour, Tralee; the remaining assaults occurred at 17 Riverview House between March 31st and April 13th 2017, on April 13th and between the 28th and 29th of August the same year.

Mr Fealy also pleaded guilty to two threats to kill or cause serious harm at the same address between March 31st and April 13th, 2017 and April 13th, while the seventh charge relates to the false imprisonment of the woman between March 31st and April 13th, 2017.

Garda Neily O’Sullivan gave evidence in Tralee Circuit Court: the victim and accused were engaged in a domestic row in August 2017, when Mr Fealy kept her imprisoned in the home from 11:30pm to 9am the following morning, during which he punched her and beat her with a hockey stick.

He compelled her to sit in an armchair and stay awake; he only allowed her to tend to their young daughter, who was less than a year old.

In the morning, the victim left with her young child and reported the matter to gardaí.

This was the third assault Mr Fealy committed on his then-partner over a two period; in September 2015, he fractured her eye socket outside Tralee Bus Station.

Judge Eoin Garavan imposed a total sentence of five years and eight months, with the final 12 months suspended.