June 25, 2024
Justice was not served in vicious assault case – Pauline Tully TD

Cavan-Monaghan TD Pauline Tully has expressed outrage at the sentence handed down to Cathal Crotty yesterday for a vicious and unprovoked attack on Natasha O’Brien in Limerick two years ago.  

The Sinn Féin deputy was reacting to the news of the suspended sentence that was handed out to Cathal Crotty 

Teachta Tully said:

“I firstly want to extend my support and solidarity to Natasha O’Brien, who is well within her rights in feeling that justice has not been served on her attacker, who received an extremely lenient sentence. 

“When I heard the report on the news I was shocked and extremely angry.  

“How can Judge Tom O’Donnell stand over this sentence?  

“He has effectively said it is ok for a man to beat a woman and expect to walk free.  

“Cathal Crotty bragged about what he did on social media. He denied he was guilty until faced with the CCTV evidence and now he has walked away with a suspended sentence.

“Judge O’Donnell gave Crotty a significant degree of credit for pleading guilty. However, Crotty only did so after being shown CCTV footage of his brutal attack.

“He should be in prison, and he should have lost his job. The DPP must review this sentence with a view to appealing its leniency.

“Crotty is also not fit to serve in the Defence Forces and they need to take disciplinary action and dismiss Crotty.

“In sentencing, Judge O’Donnell took into consideration the impact that a custodial sentence would have on Crotty’s army career. That the victim was so traumatised by this assault that she ended up losing her job is a very cruel irony indeed.

“I think it is also a pertinent question as to whether Judge O’Donnell is fit to sit on the benches of our courts.

“He does not seem to understand the meaning of the word justice and I call on the Minister for Justice to review sentences and decisions made by this judge in cases of violence against women.

“This is not the first time I have heard of judges blatantly taking the side of the violent perpetrator and this needs to be called out.

“Violence against women is rampant in this country and this judge seems to think that is ok thus encouraging others to think this way.

“Sentencing has long been an issue, but this is possibly the worst I have heard in recent times.

“Women’s Aid recently revealed that it received more than 40,000 reports of abuse in 2023 – the highest in its 50-year history.

“There must be real consequences for men who hurt women, which is why I fully support calls for the DPP to review this sentence with a view to appealing its leniency.

“Action needs to be taken immediately.

“I will be raising this issue with the Minister for Justice and the Minister for Defence.”

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