Stuart Kearney (50), from Magdalen Court, Kells, Co. Meath, left his victim Vincent Flanagan with multiple fractures to his nose, eye socket and cheek bones when he carried out the savage attack at a Meath pub in 2019
Mr Flanagan required multiple surgeries to repairs deformities to his face following the attack at Gerry’s Bar in Carlanstown on December 11, that year.
Kearney, who committed the attack in front of his son, assaulted his victim three times in the pub as customers and staff tried to stop him.
“You had that coming. This was a long time coming. I’ve been waiting 18 years,” Kearney said.
Kearney, who had spent six weeks in prison on remand over the attack, was given a two year suspended sentence at Trim Circuit Court earlier this month for the attack.
He pleaded guilty to assault causing harm in relation to the attack at an earlier court sitting.
Judge Martina Baxter said: “He waited 18 years to assault -with particular brutality- the victim. He lay in wait 18 years and assaulted not once, not twice but three times.
“I find this particularly reprehensible.
“That he harboured a grudge for 18 years was quite chilling.”
She described the attack as a “completely unprovoked act of vengeance” which she said was sparked by a “perceived slight” on Kearney 18 years previously.
Judge Baxter said he initially assaulted Mr Flanagan in the lounge of the pub and there was a lot of blood at the scene. He was asked to leave the pub but then approached Mr Flanagan in the bar area and attacked him again using “highly gratuitous violence”.
She said he beat him to the ground and was hitting and kicking him on the ground. Staff at the pub stopped the attack but Kearney attacked his victim a third time.
Mr Flanagan was rushed to A&E and Judge Baxter said photographs of is injuries made for concerning viewing.
“He had multiple fractures to his nose, his eye socket and cheek bones and was left deformed. He required surgery to repair the deformations”
Judge Baxter said Mr Flanagan had given an “articulate and powerful” victim impact statement at a previous hearing in which he told how the attack affected him and his family. The court also heard how he had been out of work for a while after the assault.
Kearney has 21 previous convictions dating from 1992 to 2011. They include eight previous conviction for assault.
“He harboured a grievance for 18 years but has been pro-social since 2011,” said Judge Baxter.
The court heard he has been working in recent years is a father-of-three and grandfather-of-one and had given up drink a number of years ago.
He works as a stone mason and has an interest in music and folklore and would like to work as a tour guide in the future
Judge Baxter said she accepted his remorse was genuine and said a number of letters attesting to his character were handed in to court.
She said he didn’t seem to demonstrate an insight into his anger at a previous court appearance but has since engaged in more anger management sessions and now has a better insight.
Judge Baxter said the headline sentence of the attack was three-and-a-half years but due to mitigating circumstances she was handing down a two year sentence suspended for three years.
The court heard that Kearney had €3,000 in court as a token of remorse for his victim and Judge Baxter ordered that he pay another €3,000 within two years.