Defence Forces to discharge Cathal Crotty on Thursday

Defence Forces to discharge Cathal Crotty on Thursday

Kenneth Fox

A soldier who walked free from court last month despite being found guilty of beating a woman unconscious in a "vicious" street attack has been discharged from the Defence Forces.

The Irish Examiner reports, Private Cathal Crotty, who beat Natasha O’Brien unconscious, is leaving the Defence Forces on Thursday.

He had seven days to appeal against an army decision last month to dismiss him over the 2022 attack.


That appeal process has, according to sources, concluded and a senior officer has signed his dismissal papers.

Once Crotty has handed back his standard issue equipment and uniform, and had his exit medical, he will be escorted off the premises at Sarsfield’s Barracks, Limerick.

He beat Ms O’Brien unconscious in a random street attack on May 29th, 2022, and boasted about it afterwards on social media.

The 22-year-old, from Parkroe Heights, Ardnacrusha, Co Clare, initially told gardaí it was Ms O’Brien who instigated the attack at O’Connell Street, Limerick, but admitted his guilt after gardaí showed him CCTV footage of him attacking her.


Despite his actions, he walked free from court after now-retired Judge Tom O’Donnell gave him a fully suspended sentence. The sentence prompted protests and criticism.

But a spokesperson stated last month: “The Defence Forces unequivocally condemn any actions by serving personnel that are contrary to or do not reflect our values.

“Any conviction in a civilian court may have implications for the retention and service of members of the Defence Forces, as stipulated in Defence Forces Regulations.

“Once due process has been completed in a civilian court of law it becomes a matter for the relevant Defence Forces authorities in accordance with Defence Forces Regulations.”

The Defence Forces has since confirmed 68 serving soldiers have been convicted in the last three years or are currently before the courts on a range of criminal offences.