Man Accused Of Attacking Influ...


Man Accused Of Attacking Influencer Applies For Bail

Laura Donnelly
Laura Donnelly

03:33 14 Mar 2023

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A man remanded in custody last month after he was accused of punching social media influencer and podcaster Charleen Murphy has applied for High Court bail.

Craig O'Brien, 27, with an address at Thomond Road, Ballyfermot, Dublin, was arrested and charged with assault causing harm to Ms Murphy in the lounge at the Grafton Capital Hotel, on Stephen Street Lower, on the night of February 10 after she blocked him online.

Ms Murphy has a significant online presence of 188,000 followers on Instagram and 145,000 on TikTok, co-hosts a popular podcast, and regularly creates content on beauty and fashion.

The incident occurred after she allegedly had posted about her night out.

Mr O'Brien was refused bail at Dublin District Court the following day objections by Garda Stephen McDonnell who cited the seriousness of the incident and flight risk fears.

Mr O'Brien has lodged a fresh bail bid in the High Court sitting in Cloverhill, and the matter was listed today.

However, it was adjourned to be mentioned later this week to confirm witness availability and set a hearing date for his new bail application.

At his District Court bail hearing on February 11, the garda Ms Murphy had been socialising with a friend in the hotel lounge on Friday when a male entered and "viciously attacked" and injured her.

The contested bail hearing was told the man was "someone known to her and her friend through personal online abuse on various social media accounts".

It was alleged that the accused entered the premises, paid for a drink at 9.30 pm with his Visa card, and attacked her a minute later.

The court heard he allegedly approached Ms Murphy, who was having dinner with her friend, from behind, and "punched her full force to the back of the head".

The court heard her head rebounded off the glass she was drinking, resulting in a laceration of her face.

It was claimed she and her friend recognised him from "previous online abuse" and that afterwards, he sent her a voice message via social media saying, "How's the head?".

The court heard she went to St James's Hospital and left A&E at 5am.

The social media star had a two-inch laceration to the right side of her face near her hairline and received stitches". But she came to court to give evidence at the District Court the following morning.

The assault charge can carry a maximum sentence of five years. The accused has not yet indicated a plea.

The defence had said Mr O'Brien had presented himself at a garda station, which did not indicate someone who would evade justice. The district court heard he had strong ties to the jurisdiction; he was looking after his mother and was receiving a €200 a week carer's allowance.

Reporting by Tom Tuite

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