Irish soldier who beat woman unconscious discharged after avoiding jail | World News

The Irish Defence Forces has released a soldier who was convicted of assaulting a woman in the street but avoided a prison sentence, sparking protests across Ireland.

A spokesman confirmed that as of midnight on Wednesday, Private Cathal Crotty, 22, was no longer employed by the Irish Army.

Following his conviction, defence forces initiated disciplinary proceedings against him, which took several weeks to conclude.

Crotty was convicted last month of assaulting 24-year-old Natasha O’Brien in Limerick in 2022, breaking her nose and leaving her unconscious in the street.

She asked him to stop shouting homophobic slurs at passersby. He later bragged about the attack to friends on Snapchat, telling them: “Two to take her down, two to finish her off.”

“As I lay in the foetal position, losing consciousness, he continued his relentless beating – my last conscious thought was ‘he’s not going to stop, I’m going to die’,” Ms O’Brien told the court.

The judge in the case convicted Crotty but suspended the entire three-year sentence, saying there was “no doubt” that a stint in prison would be the end of his military career.

Natasha O’Brien

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Ms. O’Brien waived her anonymity express your indignation Following the verdict, violent protests broke out in many cities in Ireland, involving thousands of people.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) is currently appealing the lenient sentence, but his appeal will not be heard for several months.

The defence force later revealed 68 people currently have convictions or are facing trial for a range of offences, five of whom are charged with rape or sexual assault.

Protesters wave signs expressing support for Natasha O’Brien

Chief of Staff Lieutenant General Sean Clancy noted the “unacceptable presence in the defence force of personnel with serious convictions, including for gender-based violence” and said “they have no place in our ranks”.

“We owe it to the courage of people like Natasha O’Brien, to those affected in our organisation and to the values ​​we represent, to ensure that no one in the defence forces escapes the consequences of their actions.”