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Killer who battered prison officer had 'overwhelming urge to attack blue uniform'


Brian Willoughby

Brian Willoughby

Brian Willoughby

A killer serving life for murdering an innocent teenager has been given a two-and-a-half-year jail term for assaulting a prison officer.

Brian Willoughby (40) gave in to "an overwhelming urge to attack a blue uniform" in Mountjoy Prison, a court was told.

However, the dangerous thug who murdered Brian Mulvaney (19) in Templeogue in March 2000 will serve the new sentence concurrent to his life term.


The move angered Brian's mother, Annie Mulvaney, who told the Herald that making it concurrent was "very wrong".

"His new crime is not going to be punished in our current laws," she said.

"We add our voice to the many other victims of crime who have been affected by this issue for an urgent change in the laws governing concurrent convictions."

Ms Mulvaney said the case also showed Willoughby was still a serious danger to society.

"This new conviction just 19 years after the murder of our son Brian reiterates our view that Brian Willoughby is a danger to everybody around him and always will be," she said.

Willoughby, who was given a life sentence for the murder of Brian, appeared at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court for sentencing on the jail assault, which he admitted.

Gda John Costigan told Maddie Grant, prosecuting, that the officer was supervising inmates at lunchtime last December 31 when he felt punches to the back of his head.

Turning around, he saw it was Willoughby and radioed for assistance. Another prison officer arrived and Willoughby was restrained.

The garda said the injured party sustained soft tissue damage to his neck, shoulder and head and was off work for two months.

Gda Costigan accepted Willoughby had been on psychiatric medication since he was imprisoned 18 years ago for the murder.

He also agreed when Patrick Reynolds, defending, suggested his client had given in to "an overwhelming urge to attack a blue uniform".


Gda Costigan agreed with Mr Reynolds that the prison officer had reported seeing Willoughby hours before the assault and had described him as relaxed and not aggressive.

Mr Reynolds said his client had twice weekly visits from a psychiatric team and was on heavy medication.

He added that Willoughby had spent a significant time in the Central Mental Hospital.

Judge Melanie Greally said an aggravating factor was Willoughby's history of extreme violence and that he attacked a member of the Irish Prison Service.