Cathal Crotty formally dismissed from Defence Forces after assault conviction – The Irish Times

Cathal Crotty, the soldier who avoided prison last month after being convicted of beating a woman unconscious in Limerick city, has been formally discharged from the Defence Forces.

The former Army private officially ceased to be a member of the Defence Forces just after midnight, following an internal disciplinary process.

Crotty (22) received a suspended sentence last month for violently attacking Natasha O’Brien (24) on the street after she asked him to stop shouting homophobic abuse at passersby, a court heard.

The Director of Public Prosecutions last week lodged an appeal against the sentence on the grounds of undue leniency.

The Defence Forces began the internal dismissal process against Crotty on June 21st, the day after he received the suspended sentence in Limerick Circuit Criminal Court.

He was paraded before a senior officer and informed he had seven days to “make representations” on why he should not be discharged.

That period has since elapsed and military management have completed the dismissal process.

It is understood no compelling argument against his discharge was forthcoming, freeing the Defence Forces to formally dismiss him from the organisation this week.

Regulations state the dismissal process must take place “with all convenient speed”, with the date of discharge determined by the officer in charge.

In the hours after the attack in 2022, Crotty, from Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, boasted to friends on Snapchat: “Two to put her down, two to put her out,” in reference to striking Ms O’Brien four times.

Noting the impact a custodial term could have on the soldier’s career, Judge Tom O’Donnell imposed a three-year suspended sentence and ordered Crotty to pay €3,000 compensation to Ms O’Brien, at Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on June 20th.

The case prompted significant public and political controversy, with thousands taking part in protests in support of Ms O’Brien.

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