Well-known Irish far-left activist Leah Doherty has been convicted and fined €300 total for two counts of assault after a 2019 “milkshaking” incident in which she attacked two men.
Rowan Croft, also known as Irish YouTuber Grand Torino, was at the Bush Hotel in Carrick-on-Shannon on July 3rd, 2019 at the time of the assault.
Croft told the court he was in the process of livestreaming an interview with Donegal native Niall McConnell (a fellow YouTuber who goes by the username The Irish Patriot), when the assailant Doherty threw an unidentified “substance” (later found to be a milkshake mixed with curry powder) in his face which stung his eyes.
Croft later attended an eye and ear hospital for medical attention, and said that the assault left him in shock, distress and “fear of another attack.”
According to the Leitrim Observer, Doherty, with an address at Cootehall, Boyle, Co. Roscommon, explained her intention was to “expose the far right” and called the attack an “act of protest” aiming to “disrupt his live stream,” though she claimed she didn’t intend to injure Croft or McConnell. However, she said she understood there was a risk that the victims may “go running off to Gardai.”
Doherty said that Croft was “inciting hate” and that her attack “was a far lesser evil,” adding that she had “totally aimed at Rowan Croft.”
Subsequently, Inspector Michael Collins told Doherty that the attack was “not a spur of the moment if she looked at the risks,” whereupon she admitted that the idea started in Supermacs and was “pre-planned.”
When asked why she put a spoonful of curry powder into the milkshake, Doherty told the Inspector that it was an “insider joke,” referring to Gemma O’Doherty allegedly saying that she “hated the smell of curry around Longford.”
While Doherty’s defence solicitor requested the assault case against Niall McConnell to be dismissed, Judge Denis McLoughlin denied this request and convicted the defendant on both counts.
Judge McLoughlin said that while he accepted that there was “a political undertone” to the attack, he would hold to his oath as judge to rule “without fear or favour” and to stand by the constitution.
“A person cannot use another’s belief as reason for assault,” the Judge reportedly told the defendant.
Doherty is a far left activist with the group Leitrim and Roscommon United Against Racism, and was a leading member of a campaign group to repeal the 8th during the abortion referendum. She is the daughter of the late ex-Fianna Fáil Justice Minister Sean Doherty, who resigned in disgrace from the party following the revelation that he had sanctioned the tapping of three journalists’ phones in the 1980s, including Bruce Arnold.
Background: Justice minister Seán Doherty initiated tapping of reporters http://t.co/6IzGOhv1Rg
— Irish Times News (@IrishTimesNews) December 27, 2013