ALLEGED comments on Facebook sparked a vicious knife attack on a teenager in Ennis, a court has heard.
At Ennis Circuit Criminal Court last Wednesday, Brian Joyce (23) said he attacked Daniel Harty at Mr Harty’s home in Cregaun, Toberteascáin, Ennis because of alleged comments made via the social networking site.
In sworn evidence, Mr Joyce told the court the night before the attack on October 14, 2015, he was in the “mad house” – the acute unit of Ennis General Hospital.
Mr Joyce said his late brother John Joyce (21) showed him Facebook messages apparently made by Mr Harty, or on his behalf, claiming he would “kill him (John) or some bullshit.”
Mr Joyce said he rang Daniel Harty’s mother but she hung up so he decided to go to the house.
The court heard that Brian Joyce and John Joyce went to the Harty’s home on the afternoon of October 14, 2015.
Brian Joyce, a father of two with an address at St Enda’s, Beechpark, Ennis, has pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Daniel Harty, contrary to Section 4 of the Non Fatal Offences Against The Person Act. He also admitted a charge of assaulting Mary Harty.
The court heard evidence that carpet knives and blades were repeatedly used to slash Mr Harty’s face and hands.
Brian Joyce told his barrister, Anthony Sammon SC, that he would like to personally apologise to Daniel Harty.
“I’m very sorry. I’m very sorry to the Hartys for what I’ve done,” he said.
Mr Joyce gave evidence moments after Judge Gerald Keys asked what had precipitated the attack.
Gda Robert Grant told the court the families were known to each other but nothing was disclosed to him about any feud or arguments. “There was no history, no ill feelings between the families,” he said.
Brian Joyce was cross examined by Counsel for the DPP, Lorcan Connolly who put it to the accused that this was the first time the Facebook messages had been offered as a reason.
Mr Joyce maintained this was the reason behind the attack. He became emotional talking about his late brother John, saying, “He (Harty) started talking about Johnny and poor Johnny went to start.”
Holding holy beads and a photograph of his brother John, Brian Joyce said that himself and John “were young and foolish”.
John Joyce (21) died in violent circumstances in Wolverhampton, England on August 18.
He had gone on the run in England after pleading guilty earlier this year to assault causing serious harm to Daniel Harty and assaulting his sister, Mary Harty.
Two days after Brian Joyce was remanded in custody for the attack, he was assaulted in what his counsel, Anthony Sammon SC believes was a revenge attack at Limerick prison.
Garda Grant disagreed stating that the assault on Brian Joyce was unconnected to the Harty assault.
In court last week, Brian Joyce said he got a “rap” on the back of the head leaving him with brain injuries. He told the court his speech is “bollixed” since the attack.
Mr Sammon said his client has been very much affected by the death of his younger brother. Brian Joyce was remanded in custody to appear again in court on November 14.

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