A BROTHER and sister threw up to 32 eggs at their aunt during a five minute long ‘egg assault’ on her outside their south Galway home two years ago, a court has heard.
At Gort District Court, Mary Fahy said that her face got ‘banged’ and ‘bashed’ with the eggs thrown by her nephew and niece, Cathal Connors (25) and Michelle Connors (20) both of Fannaun, Peterswell in south Galway while she was driving past their home at around 6.30pm on October 17 2019.
Mrs Fahy told the court, “It was bang, bang, bang, bang. I thought they were stones and they continued for five minutes or thereabouts and banging eggs off my face.”
She told the court that her niece and nephew threw “a dozen and a score of eggs” at her adding that she saw Michelle and Cathal Connors “running out from the front door – they obviously had it set up”.
Cathal and Michelle Connors each denied a count of assault on Mrs Fahy and causing criminal damage to Mrs Fahy’s Ford Kuga at Faunaun, Peterswell, but Judge Mary Larkin found them guilty on all counts.
Judge Larkin said that the two “deliberately assaulted this woman” with eggs. She said that the court has heard a history of family discord and unpleasantness linked to land “and these two young people got involved in whatever familial dispute that has been going on over land”.
Mrs Fahy said she still has a mark on her face from the egg assault but that it wasn’t visible in court as she was wearing make-up. She asked: “Do you realise the pressure of the eggs?”
Mrs Fahy – who lives 2.5km from the Connors property – said that her niece and nephew had seen her coming at a distance. “I knew they were getting at me and that they had something in mind”.
She stated she was driving her Ford Kuga car past her brother, Patrick Connors’ home after getting shopping in Gort when Mr Connors’ two children carried out their egg assault.
“I saw Michelle running from the door and herself and Cathal jumped out onto the road.”
Mrs Fahy said that she got ‘banged’ with eggs in the face as she slowed down and had her car window down three quarters. Mrs Fahy agreed with solicitor for Cathal and Michelle Connors, John Nash that there have been difficulties between her brother, Patrick Connors and a sister concerning a farm of land.
She said, “He tried to take over her farm…he is the one man causing all the problems.”
Mrs Fahy said that she saw Patrick Connors in his jeep outside his house before the assault and saw Cathal run to the jeep after the two had finished throwing the eggs and it then taking off.
She told the court: “The family wasn’t getting on with me over my sister, but I didn’t expect them to do something to me.”
She added that she wasn’t able to continue driving because she was in shock. She said: “I got such a fright, my head just went. I am passing there 38 years and I never saw that before.”
As a result of the assault, Mrs Fahy said “my blood pressure was through the roof and I had to get three days off work”. She said that the cleaning bill for the egg damage to the car was €120.
Mrs Fahy’s son James was the first on the scene and he told the court that his mother “was in shock, shivering and very upset” when he arrived.
He said that there were eggs on her face, her clothing and the interior of the car and egg shells on the road.
He said: “Her glasses were off her face. There was an egg sitting on her chest. Her trousers were all eggs. The back headrest was dripping with eggs.”
Mr Fahy took photos of the egg assault aftermath and those photos were handed into court.
Mrs Fahy rang ‘999’ from her car and Sergeant John Cunningham told the court that when he arrived Mrs Fahy “was in a very distressed state”.
Sergeant Cunningham said: “The inside of her car was covered in eggs. There were eggs on Mary Fahy’s face and eggs had got into the back seat of her car.”
He said that he went to the Connors’ home and there Michelle Connors “denied that anything had taken place and knew nothing about the incident”.
In evidence, Michelle Connors denied any role in the egg assault. Asked why she didn’t go out to help her aunt by Judge Larkin, Michelle Connors replied: “I have never spoken to the woman.”
Asked why, Ms Connors said: “Because when we were growing up I never had anything to do with her which I am glad of.”
Cathal Connors denied being at home during the egg assault and having any role in it and said that he was at the local mart at the time and had cattle receipts to show that.
Both Cathal and Michelle Connors told the court that they had seen “young lads on bikes” in the area that day and they may have been responsible for the egg assault.
Judge Larkin dismissed this as “inconceivable” and adjourned sentencing of Michelle Connors and Cathal Connors to May for a Probation Report on the two and a victim impact statement to be provided by Mary Fahy.
By Gordon Deegan