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Dublin: 3°C Tuesday 7 December 2021

Man jailed for stabbing neighbour over 'incessantly' reciting poetry

He stabbed the man in the leg and bit him on the face.

Image: Getty Images/PhotoAlto

A DUBLIN MAN who stabbed and bit his upstairs neighbour over “incessantly” reciting poetry has been jailed for two and a half years.

John Paul Mulready (40) burst into his neighbour’s flat brandishing a serrated peeling knife after hammering at the door shouting about music being played, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court was told.

The injured party, Dermot Byrne, told gardaí that there was a brief standoff after he picked up a frying pan to defend himself, but then Mulready tackled him to the ground, stabbed him in the leg and bit him on the face.

Byrne, who composes poetry, eventually got rid of the attacker by swinging a large bottle of vodka at him after another neighbour intervened.

Detective Garda Stephen Homan confirmed to Judge Martin Nolan that Mulready admitted he had attacked Dermot Byrne on the night because of “poetry recited incessantly” from upstairs.

Mulready, of Camden Mews, Camden Street, pleaded guilty to aggravated burglary with a knife at Haddington Road, Dublin, on September 4, 2015.

He has 116 previous convictions, including drugs offences, possessing knives, assault and criminal damage.


Detective Garda Homan described Dermot Byrne as having significant wounds where he had been bitten on the eye and nose on the night, but added that these have since healed.

He told Elva Duffy BL, prosecuting, that the injured party noticed that his phone had gone missing after the incident. The detective told the court this phone contained Byrne’s poetry.

He agreed with Luigi Rea BL, defending, that Mulready had “made a mess” of his early life between alcohol and drugs but that he looked a lot smarter in court yesterday.

The detective further agreed that Mulready had support in court from a number of people from the New Hope residential drug treatment centre.

Aidan Curran, of New Hope, told Rea that Mulready was now drug and alcohol-free and that life was more positive for him in the four months he had been at the centre.

Rea submitted to Judge Nolan that Mulready had shown a lack of self control because of drink and prescribed medication and reacted in the wrong way when he burst in on Dermot Byrne. He asked the judge to allow his client to continue at the residential treatment centre.

Judge Nolan noted that Mulready had taken great steps to reform himself, but said he had to take into consideration the father-of-three’s serious history of offending. He said that “thankfully” the injuries inflicted on Byrne were minor and he made a full recovery.

He described Mulready’s attack as one of “bad temper and intemperance”, adding that the crime was too serious consider a suspended sentence.

About the author:

Aoife Nic Ardghail

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