'Lunatic' inmate assaulted three officers with razor-blade weapon

CourtsBy Sunday World
Mountjoy Prison, where the vicious attack happened
Mountjoy Prison, where the vicious attack happened

An inmate who assaulted three prison officers "out of the blue" with a weapon made from razor blades and a tooth brush will be sentenced later this month.

Eoghan McGarry (30) launched himself at the men "like a lunatic" armed with a homemade weapon as they delivered breakfast to his cell.

Dublin Circuit Criminal Court heard two of the men suffer from post-traumatic stress following the attack and have not returned to work.

McGarry appeared in court flanked by five prison officers in riot gear.

McGarry, of no fixed abode but originally from Tallaght, Dublin, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to the three men at Mountjoy Prison on April 23, 2015.

McGarry is currently serving a four-year sentence with the final year suspended for aggravated burglary imposed in March 2015.

He has 38 previous convictions including assault, burglary and criminal damage.

Judge Melanie Greally adjourned sentencing until April 21 to allow her time to consider reports handed into court.

Garda Maura Fitzgerald told Pieter Le Vert BL, prosecuting, that the three officers were delivering breakfast trays to the cells when McGarry lunged at them without warning as they opened his cell door with "his arms flying like a lunatic."

McGarry was restrained and the officers taken for treatment. One of the men sustained wounds to his face and torso, a second had a wound under his chin and the third was struck on the head.

The cell was searched and it was discovered that a weapon had been fashioned from razor blades melted into a toothbrush. The entire incident was captured on CCTV.

McGarry was not interviewed as he was later transferred to the Central Mental Hospital.

Victim impact statements from the prison officers outlined that they suffered significant psychological distress and anxiety as a result of the attacks. One of the men had a visible scar on his face but it was expected to fade in time.

Luigi Rea BL, defending, said that McGarry suffered mental health difficulties which were affected both by illicit drug taking and not taking his prescribed medication.

Maria McGarry, mother of the accused, told Mr Rea that her son was a good person when he was taking his medication. She said she had visited him in prison prior to the assaults and had been concerned that he was not well.

Mr Rea handed a number of reports into court and will give a full plea in mitigation on the next date.

Fiona Ferguson