A DECORATED UN peacekeeping veteran is enduring "a living nightmare" after a samurai sword attack left him with catastrophic brain injuries.
Martin Butler (50) cannot speak normally and is incapable of independent living after being slashed across the skull with the sword by 28-year-old Liam McCarthy.
The revelation came as McCarthy was jailed for nine years by Clonmel Circuit Criminal Court for the 2012 attack that left the former soldier fighting for his life.
McCarthy received a suspended six-month prison term for a separate and unrelated assault only three months before he hit Mr Butler with the one-metre razor-sharp sword.
Mr Butler was attacked following a street row in Cappawhite, Co Tipperary.
His daughter, Colleen, said he was "living a nightmare".
"His right arm is a dead limb. He has to try to learn to write again with his left hand. Broken bones and limbs can heal, but psychological damage is much more difficult."
Her father's vocabulary consists of only four words: yes, no, fine and bye.
Mr Butler's brother-in-law, Michael Ryan, said: "It is heartbreaking that someone who had given so much to others should suffer such a fate."
The row erupted following a minor pub argument where two friends of both men refused to shake hands.
McCarthy, of Church Street, Cappawhite, Co Tipperary, pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Mr Butler on March 30 last year.
He also pleaded guilty to production of a weapon (a samurai sword) in a dispute and violent disorder.
Judge Pauline Codd described it as "a shocking attack" with catastrophic consequences for Mr Butler.
McCarthy had drunk six cans of cider, two pints of lager and two vodkas before the assault.
He later told gardai he regretted the injuries he had inflicted and wrote a letter of apology.