Monday 18 March 2019

English tourist hit in face with pool cue says experience has 'tainted his view' of Ireland

(stock photo)
(stock photo)

Jessica Magee

An English tourist who was hit in the face with a pool cue in an unprovoked attack at a Dublin hostel has said the experience has “tainted his view” of Ireland.

The man, together with a Finnish woman also holidaying in Dublin, were the victims of an unprovoked assault at the Generator Hostel, Smithfield Square, in 2016.

He suffered a deep scar on his chin and is “apprehensive” about returning to this country, Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard yesterday.

The woman was also left with a scar from the pool cue on her forehead which causes her embarrassment, the court heard.

Paul Maguire (32) of Nicholas Avenue, Church Street, Dublin, pleaded guilty on the day of his scheduled trial to two counts of assault causing harm on June 1, 2016.

Judge Melanie Greally condemned the assault as an “outrageous outburst of impatience and anger on two completely unsuspecting people” who had just arrived in the country.

The judge noted that neither victim wished to accept the sum of €5,000 which Maguire had bought to court as a practical expression of remorse.

She accepted Maguire's suggestion that the sum of money be paid over to Temple Street Children's Hospital, where she said it would be put to very good use.

The case was adjourned until May 9 for sentence, pending the preparation of a probation report.

Garda Michael Lennon told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that the two victims had arrived separately in Ireland from Finland and London in the days proceeding the assault.

They had not known one another beforehand, but met up at the Generator Hostel and went for dinner at the Brazen Head pub.

The woman told gardaí that after eating, the pair returned to the hostel where they began chatting to a number of people who were waiting their turn to play pool. She said she remembers being struck with something, seeing half a pool cue and blood all over the floor, and holding her head.

The male victim said he heard one of the pool players saying “Fuck this,” before he was also struck on the face with a pool cue. The pool players left the hostel and gardaí later identified the accused man on CCTV.

Both victims were taken to the Mater Hospital where the woman was treated for a superficial forehead wound. The man had suffered a 4cm deep wound to his chin which required stitches and caused him pain for days.

Maguire has 26 previous convictions, including for drugs, firearms and public order offences.

In a victim impact statement, the English man said his experience had “tainted his view of this country” and that he was “apprehensive about returning”.

The court heard he worked as a teacher and his scar did not look appropriate, so he had had to grow a beard to hide it.

Garret McCormack BL, defending, offered a sincere apology on behalf of Maguire who said he had been on a “three-day bender” of alcohol and illicit substances.

The court heard that Maguire and his partner have a one-year-old daughter.

Judge Greally commented that “nasty as the injuries were, they could have been a lot worse.”

She said she would take Maguire's offer of €5,000 as a mitigating factor, notwithstanding the victims' refusal to accept the money.

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