‘Barbaric, random and savage attack’ on man in Longford town, says judge

Aisling Kiernan

Reporter:

Aisling Kiernan

Email:

aisling.kiernan@longfordleader.ie

Longford Courthouse

Longford Courthouse

A circuit court judge has described as “barbaric” an assault that took place on a Portuguese national living in Longford by two brothers and a minor on St Patrick’s night 2017 on New Street in Longford town.  

Brandon McDonnell (18) and Ciarán McDonnell (20) both of 34 College Park, Longford and a minor all appeared before Judge Keenan Johnson pleading guilty to assaulting Vitor Vieira and causing him serious harm at New Street, Longford on March 17, 2017.  

They will be sentenced at a special circuit court sitting in Longford on June 22 next.  

Meanwhile, during this week’s hearing, Counsel for the State Mr Shane Geraghty told the court that on the date in question, local gardaí responded to a call regarding an assault in the New Street area of Longford town.

“The female caller said a man had been beaten up, a knife had been used and it was the McDonnells that did it,” continued Mr Geraghty, before pointing out that when the Gardaí arrived on the street, they observed the victim sitting on the footpath “covered in blood”.

“While Vitor Vieira has no recollection of the events of that night, gardaí observed that he had a laceration to his head and his cheek and jaw bone were visible.

“He was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, Mullingar where he remained in a coma for a number of days; he received over 200 stitches and lost two and a half liters of blood.”

Meanwhile, the court heard that Mr Vieira who has been living in Longford for the past 17 years was a construction worker at the time of the incident and was employed on a job at Harold’s Cross in Dublin.

The man told gardaí during interview that he was attacked on the night while returning to his home after having three pints in Roy’s Bar.  

In his victim impact statement Mr Vieira said that he was afraid since the attack and suffered panic attacks.

“My left eye does not close because of nerve damage; I have scars on my face and I have problems trying to figure out what happened that night,” he added

“Before the attack I was earning €600 p/w but because I was out of work for 21 weeks I had no money coming in at all - in total I lost €12,000 in earnings.”

He also described the physical damage that was done to him as a direct result of the assault.

“I lost part of my nose and ear and was in a lot of pain at the time,” Mr Vieira continued.  

“I avoid looking in the mirror because it’s not me.”

The Portuguese man also pointed out that he had lost all his confidence because of the assault and finds it very difficult to be in crowds.

“I can’t bear to be near crowds,” he said.  

“I can’t stay on my own too long either because I get afraid.  

“And because I was in hospital for so long I wasn’t able to pay my rent and I lost my flat.  

“I am now dependent on the kindness of family and friends.

“I feel depressed.”

For more on this story, see next week's Longford Leader.