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Row over Facebook comments leads to shooting and knife attack, Limerick court hears

CourtsBy David Raleigh
A row erupted in a pub between the three defendants and another man described as Mr X, arising out of comments made on Facebook
A row erupted in a pub between the three defendants and another man described as Mr X, arising out of comments made on Facebook

A row over comments posted on Facebook led to a knife attack and a shooting, a court in Limerick heard, Thursday.

The argument, which began in a pub, resulted in a wave of violent incidents between two families in which a man was slashed in the face with a knife, and another was savagely beaten with a boy's crutch and a curtain pole, Limerick circuit criminal court heard.

A husband and wife who were previously convicted of an illegal money lending racket, and ordered to pay almost €1m to the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB), pleaded guilty to engaging in a violent assault on a Mr X.

Brendan and Patricia Wallace, of Fernleigh, Westbury, Corbally, Co Clare, admitted 10 charges between them. Their son, Brandon Wallace, (19), pleaded guilty to four charges connected to the same incident.

The court heard, Thursday, that a row erupted in a pub between the three defendants and another man described as Mr X, arising out of comments made on Facebook.

Following the argument Mr X went to the Wallace's home armed with a knife. Brendan Wallace, (55), was slashed on the head with a knife and he retaliated by hitting Mr X with a curtain pole. Later, Brandon Wallace was grabbed and knocked to the ground by Mr X, the court heard.

Following this, Mr Wallace snr, his wife, and their son, followed Mr X to the home of another man, Mr Y.

The court heard Patricia Wallace, (44), grabbed a shard of broken glass and "made a go at" Mr X with it. Brendan Wallace and his son began beating Mr X with a crutch and a curtain pole in the front porch of the house.

The court heard Mr Y "rescued" Mr X after pulling him to safety.

As the three defendants were leaving in their car, Mr Y fired a shot from a legally held firearm at their vehicle. "The shot hit the car damaging it," said John O'Sullivan, prosecuting.

CCTV footage at the Wallace's home and at Mr Y's home showed the "graphic" of both incidents.

The three defendants pleaded guilty to a combined fourteen charges, including assault causing harm; affray; criminal damage; and producing dangerous weapons.

Detective Garda Keith Harmon said, in his opinion, the Wallaces' were provoked into assaulting Mr X. "It wouldn't have occurred without Mr X kicking it off. I've no doubt in my mind this incident wouldn't have occurred without that provocation," he added.

Judge Tom O'Donnell adjourned sentencing to October 20.