Thursday 22 August 2019

Man sues for losing eye in pub attack

Aodhan O'Faolain

A 48-year-old man lost his eye after being struck by a man wielding a pool ball following an altercation in a public house, the High Court has heard.

Richard Butler lost his left eye, and spent eight days in hospital after being struck by Joseph Phillips at McSuils public house in Castlehill, Carlow, around 5pm on July 17, 2012.

Mr Butler says he suffered the horrendous eye injury while holding back Phillips, who he said had hit another person who was also in the pub.

It is claimed Phillips had been drinking in the pub for several hours before the incident. He had been acting in an aggressive manner stating he had "escaped from Shelton Abbey prison" and was "a member of the IRA", it was claimed.

Due to his injuries Mr Butler, a former tiler of Castlewood Gardens, Pollerton Road, Carlow, now wears a prosthetic eye, which the court heard frequently pops out causing him great embarrassment.


Arising out of the incident, Mr Butler has sued Phillips, St Joseph's Terrace, Athy, who is currently serving a sentence at the Midlands Prison for the assault. He has also sued the pub owners, Noel Walker and his son Ken Walker.

Mr Butler alleges the publicans should have known about Phillips' violent propensity before the savage attack. They should have evicted Phillips from the pub as soon as they became aware of his level of intoxication.

The pub owners deny the claims and reject assertions the assault was foreseeable and that they should have taken steps to prevent it from occurring.

The pub is no longer open.

Judgment in default of putting in a defence has already been entered against Phillips.

He was in court however, representing himself, as the issue of quantum of damages against him has to be decided.

The case continues before Mr Justice Kevin Cross.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News