Another Woman Dead; a serious Assault by her Boyfriend. Too many people are being Attacked in recent months in Ireland. Yet Another Family in Agony and Suffering?

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Mum-of-two who was victim of alleged serious assault loses her fight for life

  6 hrs ago

Mum-of-two who was victim of alleged serious assault loses her fight for life

A mother-of-two who was subjected to an alleged serious assault in Ennis last month has lost her fight for life in hospital.

Wexford native Sharon Bennett (29) died at University Hospital Limerick in the early hours of Wednesday morning, 13 days after she was admitted to the hospital with serious head injuries..

Ms Bennett was brought to hospital suffering serious head injuries after being allegedly assaulted by her boyfriend, Patrick Ballard (34) in Ennis’s Market area on the evening of Thursday, January 28 last.

Mayor of Clare, Cllr Mary Howard, said: “It is absolutely heartbreaking to hear that two children will be left without their mother.

“It is so sad that they grow up and their Mammy isn’t there.”

Ms Bennett had her two children from a previous relationship and Cllr Howard said: “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and her friends who are absolutely heartbroken at this time and I say that on behalf of the people of Clare.

“There was great fight in Sharon to fight for 13 days but it wasn’t to be.”

Supt Brendan McDonagh of Ennis garda station stated: “It is very sad. Sharon Bennett had severe injuries to her brain and unfortunately she didn’t make it.”

He confirmed that Ms Bennett “passed away in the early hours of this morning at Limerick hospital”.

He said gardaí have allocated a level of resources into the investigation to date that would be normally given to a murder investigation.

He added that, following Ms Bennett’s death, “we will be reviewing the charge as it stands”.

“The accused has been charged with assault causing harm and we will consult with the DPP on the matter of further charges.”

Supt McDonagh said gardaí will await the results of the post mortem on Ms Bennett’s remains which was due to be carried out by Acting State Pathologist, Dr Linda Mulligan, on Wednesday afternoon.

Ms Bennett was originally from Co Wexford.

Sharon had been living in the Corofin area of Clare before moving into the Ennis area. Sharon had been living in the Clare area for a number of years,” said Supt McDonagh.

Tributes were being paid online to Ms Bennett with one describing her as “an absolute angel” with another saying she “was always so pleasant with a lovely smile”.

Patrick Ballard of Ashford Court Hotel, Ennis, has been charged with assault causing harm to Ms Bennett and is currently on remand in custody at Limerick Prison.

He is due to appear in Ennis court again via video link next month.

When charged and cautioned by Det Garda Noelle Bergin on January 29 at Ennis Gardai Station, Mr Ballard replied “I’m sorry for what happened.”

Det Bergin told the special court sitting in Ennis on January 30 that Ms Bennett had remained unconscious in hospital since the alleged assault as a result of sustaining serious head injuries.

She said gardaí had received a number of independent eye witnesses statements concerning the alleged assault as part of their investigation.

She said CCTV footage from a number of premises in the vicinity of the alleged assault had also been collected.

Gardaí opposed bail due to the seriousness of the charge before the court.

Det Bergin said Mr Ballard was a drug user and an alcoholic.

Solicitor for Mr Ballard, Tara Godfrey told the court that Mr Ballard has been living under the care of the Simon Community at the Ashford Court Hotel in Ennis.

She said he suffers from significant psychiatric difficulties and has spent the last number of years more often than not homeless.

Ms Godfrey told the court that Mr Ballard tried to take his own life on two occasions in the two weeks prior to the alleged assault on Ms Bennett.

She said he had also recently spent time at the acute psychiatric unit in Ennis and described him as “a most vulnerable person”.

After failing to secure bail in the district court, Mr Ballard is scheduled to apply for bail in the High Court on Thursday, February 11.

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