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Wednesday 22 March 2023 Dublin: 9°C
Shutterstock/ryabuha kateryna
# facial injuries
Ennis teen needed 100 stitches after being attacked with blades and carpet knife
The teen’s pregnant sister was also attacked by the two men.

A 17-YEAR-OLD Ennis youth sustained slash wounds requiring 100 stitches to his face after being viciously assaulted at his home by two men armed with a carpet knife and blades.

During the daytime assault sparked by Facebook taunts, Ennis brothers, Brian Joyce (23) formerly of St Enda’s Beechpark, Ennis and John Joyce (21) also assaulted Danny Harty’s pregnant sister, Mary at the Harty home with one of the men repeatedly kneeing Harty into the stomach.

Garda Robert Grant told Ennis Circuit Court that when he came across Danny Harty at the A&E unit at Ennis General Hospital after the attack on 14 October 2015, Harty’s face and hands were completely covered in bandages.

Garda Grant said that Mr Harty – now aged 19 – was unable to sign his Garda statement due to injuries to his hands and signed it only with an ‘X’.

Two days after Brian Joyce was remanded in custody for the attack, he was assaulted in what his counsel, Anthony Sammon SC believes was a revenge attack at Limerick prison.

Garda Grant disagreed stating that the assault on Brian Joyce was unconnected to the Harty assault.

Joyce told the court that he received ‘a rap’ on the back of his head as he was washing his plate in prison and said that he has suffered brain damage and the loss of hearing in one ear as a result of the attack.

The co-accused in the Harty assault case, John Joyce was murdered in England in August.

At the bail hearing for the Harty assault in October 2015, Brian Joyce sparked a courtroom melee when he flashed his penis at a judge shouting ‘Up the Clare Joyces’.

In the unprovoked, premeditated assault on Harty, his sister Mary attempted to intervene and protect her brother but she was also assaulted.

Victim impact statements

In her victim impact statement, Mary Harty said: “One of the men kneed me in the stomach several times while I was screaming in fear for the life of my unborn child, but they didn’t seem to care.

This is something I will never get over and every time I look at my baby I am still lucky to have her as they could’ve taken her away from me.

In the attack, Harty suffered a slash wound from the top of his forehead to the tip of his nose while he was also slashed across the left cheek to the top of his lip.

He also received a number of stab wounds to his hands.

Joyce pleaded guilty to the assault causing serious harm of Daniel Harty and the assault of Mary Harty.

Garda Grant said that at the A&E, Harty’s facial bandages were quickly replaced as he was bleeding so profusely.

Harty was transferred to Galway University Hospital and a medical report in court concluded that he will be scarred for life but that the scars should fade over time.

Harty discharged himself from the hospital the following day as he had just missed his child’s birth at Limerick maternity hospital and went there to see his new baby.

In his victim impact statement, Mr Harty said for months after, he couldn’t hold his new baby “as my hands were in plaster and in pain”.

Every time I look in the mirror I keep thinking of what happened to me that day because the scars won’t let me forget.

Counsel for the State, Lorcan Connolly BL said that the assault was at the higher end of assaults as it involved extreme violence, premeditation and serious injury while it was an unprovoked attack on a young person in a family home that rendered the victim helpless.

‘My heart is broken’

In the witness box, Joyce said that he wanted to apologise to Danny Harty and his family.

Asked what was the motivation around the assault, Joyce said that he was in “the madhouse” when he got a call from his brother, John about what Daniel Harty was saying about John on Facebook.

Father of two, Brian Joyce said that he checked himself out of the psychiatric unit and phoned the Hartys demanding the Facebook messages be taken down.

Joyce – who has 17 previous convictions – said that when this wasn’t done, he went to the Harty home and Daniel Harty “said things I didn’t want to hear him say”.

“I am sad with what I have done and I want to apologise. I know I did something very wrong,” he said.

Holding holy beads and a photograph of his brother John, Brian Joyce said that himself and John “were young and foolish”.

“I was suffering from depression at the time and it was myself and John who found my father’s body after he committed suicide,” he said.

On the assault, Joyce said: “If I could do it all over again, I would never do it.”

Joyce said that “my heart is broken” over the death of his brother John.

Sammon said that his client has already served a year in prison for the assault and Judge Keys further remanded Joyce in custody to later this month for sentence.

Read: Man in his 50s dies in Roscommon after car he was driving collided with bus

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