A Fermanagh boxer has been jailed for over three years for assaulting two senior businessmen at a Cavan filling station two years ago.

James Bernard McGovern, also known as Bernard McGovern, had pleaded guilty to assaulting Kevin Lunney and Dara O'Reilly, causing them harm, at the Apple Green Service Station café at Rakeelan near Ballyconnell, Co Cavan, on 1 February 2019.

Mr Lunney is the chief operating officer at Mannok, formely Quinn Industrial Holdings, which has manufacturing operations on both sides of the border.

Mr O'Reilly is chief financial officer at the same enterprise.

McGovern, with an address at Springtown Road, Kinawley, has been sentenced to three years and three months for assaulting Mr Lunney, and five months to be served concurrently for the attack on Mr O'Reilly.

McGovern first threw a cup of hot tea in Mr O'Reilly's face before hitting Mr Lunney up to seven or eight times, knocking him to the floor, Cavan Circuit Court was told.

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Evidence was that the attack occurred the day after McGovern's father Séan had his employment as a truck driver with Quinn Industrial Holdings - since rebranded as Mannok - terminated.

McGovern, who was 22 at the time, was sitting in the filling station café a short distance from the two businessmen after they first arrived shortly around 1.15pm.

McGovern got up, asked for a fresh pot of boiling water, then poured himself a cup before the Ulster title-winning amateur boxer launched his attack during the height of the lunchtime rush hour.

Despite the best efforts of others present to restrain McGovern, the defendant was able to flee the scene.

Neither Mr Lunney nor Mr O'Reilly provided victim impact statements. However, Mr Lunney said he bears McGovern "no ill will" following the attack.

While shocked and upset at the time, Mr O'Reilly also expressed a desire to put the matter behind him. He hoped McGovern would "get on with his life too in a socially positive manner".

Karl Monaghan BL, instructed by John M Quinn solicitors in Dublin, acting for the defence, stated that his client was remorseful for his actions.

A gesture of €1,000 was offered to Mr Lunney by way of compensation, which he said could be donated to charity if the court so directed.

McGovern spent almost five months in Castlerea Prison after first being taken into custody in June last year, and up until he successfully applied for High Court bail two days before Christmas.

Judge John Aylmer described the attacks as being at the "upper end" of scale of such offending.

He also described the attack as "callous" and "premeditated".

The judge was asked by McGovern's counsel if consideration could be given to suspending a portion of the sentenced handed down, but he replied given all the factors of the case, that such leniency would not be "appropriate".