Two men lay in wait for another man outside Cork church; struck him with claw hammer and baseball bat 

Two men lay in wait for another man outside Cork church; struck him with claw hammer and baseball bat 

Two men in an Audi A3 lay in wait for a man to arrive outside a church and they ambushed him and struck him in the head with a claw-hammer and a baseball bat. Stock image 

Two men in an Audi A3 lay in wait for a man to arrive outside a church in Blackpool and they ambushed him and struck him in the head with a claw-hammer and a baseball bat.

Detective Garda John Gleeson said two plainclothes gardaí arrived on the scene at the exact moment of the violent incident and arrested the two culprits.

No complaint made 

The victim, who was knocked unconscious in blows that were targeted at his head, has since returned to the UK and did not make any complaint to gardaí.

The two men who were seen with the bat and hammer attacking the victim both confessed to a charge of engaging in an affray.

Michael O’Keeffe, 38, with an address at 57 Mount Farran, Assumption Square has been sentenced at Cork Circuit Criminal Court for his part in the affray.

Defence barrister Donal O’Sullivan said, “He is extremely sorry. 

"He is remorseful for what he did. He raised the sum of €1,000 (for charity). He has done the best he can.” 

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin said, “The detective garda places emphasis on this being was a targeted attack. 

"They were waiting for this man. He struck him with a claw-hammer.” 

The judge said the second man involved was previously given a largely suspended sentence but he did not have the previous convictions which Michael O’Keeffe had.

He also noted that Michael O’Keeffe was the first to strike and he struck with a claw-hammer.

“He has significant convictions for violence and it is similar type of convictions.

“I accept the victim has never made any statements and was of no help or benefit to the guards. So the plea was of very significant benefit to the prosecution,” the judge said.

He imposed a sentence of two years but suspended 15 months of it.

What prompted the violence towards the injured party was not indicated at the sentencing hearing. 

Mr O’Sullivan BL stressed that the accused pleaded guilty to engaging in an affray and not to an assault charge.

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