herald

Tuesday 26 September 2017

'It was terrifying, everything was getting smashed up' - granny's terror in attack by neighbours

Angelina Byrne from Buttercup Park Darndale in her front room
Angelina Byrne from Buttercup Park Darndale in her front room
Angelina shows some of the damage done to her lighting

A grandmother whose family and house came under attack after a 20-year simmering row erupted in violence has said she wants to leave her home to live in peace.

Angelina Byrne, from Buttercup Park, Darndale, said an attack on her and her home in 2015 was the last straw.

Ms Byrne told the Herald she is hoping the council will rehouse her.

Speaking to the Herald, she said her family had been terrified during the attack in which they suffered injuries after being beaten with an assortment of implements and weapons.

"We didn't know what was happening," she said.

"It was terrifying. Everything was getting smashed up inside and outside the house.

"I just want to be out of here, but the council hasn't relocated me yet. I just want to live quietly."

Retaliated

Dublin District Court heard last week that Ms Byrne's neighbours, Lorraine Quinn (47) and Edward Smith (46), along with their daughter Lauren (21), "took the law into their own hands" when they retaliated against an alleged earlier assault on Smith.

The court heard the three armed themselves with poles and launched an attack on Byrne house.

Judge Bryan Smyth was told that Quinn and her daughter "trashed" their neighbour's garden and set upon people in the house, while Smith tried to strangle one of his alleged assailants with a cord attached to a baton.

The violence came to an end when gardai arrived and pepper-sprayed the culprits.

Smith, an unemployed kitchen porter; Lorraine Quinn, who is on disability allowance; and their daughter, a trainee beautician, pleaded guilty to violent disorder.

Judge Smyth said it was a "pretty awful situation" and adjourned the case for the production of a restorative justice report.

The incident happened on August 31, 2015.

Shortly before, it was alleged that Smith was seriously assaulted by two men who were members of the Byrne family.

Gda Selina Proudfoot said members of the defendants' family retaliated and attacked the Byrne house.

Ms Byrne and her son, Niall, who were not involved in the alleged assault on Smith, were the only occupants at the time.

Lorraine Quinn and others were armed with a curtain pole and destroyed plant pots and ornaments in the front garden. She also tried to break the front window.

Assaulted

Quinn and her family retreated to their own home and the two men who had allegedly assaulted Smith returned in a 4x4, the court heard.

There was an altercation after which Lorraine Quinn smashed the vehicle's windows and continued to break plant pots with the curtain pole.

She also entered the house with others and they attacked the Byrnes with weapons.

The court heard that Lauren Quinn had a pole topped with three spikes.

She also smashed garden ornaments, tried to break the front windows and attacked the windows of the 4x4.

Kicked

Lauren Quinn also entered the Byrne house, threw a plant pot at Niall Byrne, kicked him and hit him in the face and chased one of the assault suspects with the pole.

Smith was involved in vandalising the Byrnes' front garden and tried to break a wooden trellis.

He also entered the house and took part in the brawl, beating the two assault suspects with a baton and his fists.

He tried to use a lace at the bottom of the baton to strangle one of the suspects.

Defence barrister Cathal O Braonain said there had been animosity between the two families for years.

Each believed the other was at fault, said Gda Proudfoot, who added that there was a slow build-up leading to the "flash point".

They behaved in an "outrageously inappropriate manner", Mr O Braonain said, adding that the accused were "otherwise law-abiding citizens".

Judge Smyth said he was "not making any promises" regarding a penalty and adjourned the cases to April.

The Quinn and Smith family declined to comment.

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