Brave garda hit in face with a rock thought he would die in attack
Published 28/07/2015 | 02:30
A garda sergeant thought he was going to be killed after being hit in the face with a rock. The incident happened during a violent clash with a family which required two armed Regional Support Units to control.
Sergeant David Haughney lost 75pc of the vision in his left eye after being struck in the face with a rock.
Garda John Tarrant bravely stood over his injured colleague to defend him during the riot from multiple attackers.
Both gardai answered a 999 call in east Cork to be confronted by six members of the Quilligan family. They were attacked with a variety of weapons, including rocks, rakes, sticks, knives and even a ladder.
One member of the family repeatedly attempted to ram a Garda patrol car before a second patrol car was later rammed at speed and written off.
The incident, on December 14, 2014, which extended over three different Cork locations, only ended several hours later when two armed Regional Support Units surrounded the Quilligan family home at Ballymartin, Dungourney, Midleton, Co Cork. They forced their way in and used pepper spray, Taser guns and bean-bag rounds to restore calm.
Sergeant Haughney will never be able to resume his Garda duties such was the damage suffered to his left eye when he was hit in the face by a large rock thrown by Luke Quilligan.
Quilligan (20), who has 36 previous convictions, was jailed for four years for what Judge Sean O'Donnabhain described as an "appalling and disgraceful attack" on gardai.
Members of the Quilligan family sobbed in court as three people received prison sentences.
Inspector Eoin Healy, in evidence to Cork Circuit Criminal Court, said that when Sergeant Haughney was struck in the face by the large rock, he gasped to Garda Tarrant: "I'm gone."
Garda Tarrant was then forced to stand over his colleague and use his baton to fight off repeated attempts to attack him.