Man jailed for three years after 'barbaric' screwdriver attack during family feud

Patrick McDonagh was one of eight men who used two cars to ram a car driven by Martin Collins before attacking the car with bats and slash hooks
Man jailed for three years after 'barbaric' screwdriver attack during family feud

Declan Brennan

A man used a screwdriver to stab a man during an attack by a large group of armed men in a family feud, a court has heard.

Patrick McDonagh (33), of Bath Road, Balbriggan, Co Dublin, was one of eight men who used two cars to ram a car driven by Martin Collins before attacking the car with bats and slash hooks.

Mr Collins' brothers and his young son were in the car during the attack at Hartstown Road, Dublin on February 7th, 2015, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard on Friday.

Mr Collins managed to drive off but the attackers rammed his car again, forcing it off the road and causing it to crash into a tree.

The men then set on Mr Collins, attacking him with golf clubs, baseball bats and slash hooks.

Detective Garda Bernard Connaughton told the court that McDonagh used a screwdriver to stab the victim in the shoulder a number of times while he was on the ground. At the same time other men were hitting him with weapons.

Mr Collins' young son and his brothers watched the attack, which left the victim with a broken arm, stab wounds and cuts to the head.

He had to later get a plate inserted into his arm, and he is still on painkillers for the injuries, Dt Gda Connaughton said.

Last April McDonagh pleaded guilty to the attack,

Retaliation

Defending counsel Simon Matthews BL told the court the attack was a retaliation for an assault on his client's father. Dt Gda Connaughton said that was news to him.

Counsel said “the feud is finished, they have moved on” and the detective replied “I hope so”. Counsel said there have been no recent incidents.

Mr Matthews said he was instructed to convey an apology on behalf of his client. The court heard McDonagh is currently serving a sentence for theft imposed last March.

In February 2016, he was jailed for seven years for driving a stolen car at a garda on the night of August 29th, 2015. Garda Ciaran Murrihy was left in a wheelchair with life altering leg injuries, the court heard at the time.

Sentencing him for the incident, Judge Elma Sheahan said the attackers set out to terrify Mr Collins in a vicious attack. She said the defendant played a significant part in the overall attack and that his stabbing of the victim was "barbaric".

She said the presence of an innocent child throughout the attacks was an aggravating factor.

The judge noted the mitigating factors included the remorse expressed, his drug difficulties at the time, and the fact that he is now free of drugs. She noted his stated wish to rehabilitate himself.

She imposed a prison sentence of three and a half years to commence from the end of the sentence he is currently serving.

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