herald

Tuesday 12 December 2017

Tourist's horror injuries after city bottle attack

US tourist Garth Russell suffered horrific injuries when he was attacked by four men on Dublin's quays.

The New York stockbroker and his brother Patrick were set upon after stopping a mugging.

Three of the gang were jailed yesterday for between three and five years. It followed the sentencing of a fourth man last December to six years.

"The surgeon that sewed me up in Ireland said it looked like someone had tried to scalp me," Garth told the Herald.

On the night in question - April 29, 2012 - the two brothers, as well as a nephew, were walking around Temple Bar.

"We were over to see where my grandfather grew up and to have an experience of Ireland. It was always something that we looked forward to," Garth said.

When they came across the robbery at Merchant's Arch, Garth threatened to call the gardai. He assumed that would put an end to the matter.

To have them look at him and "not care less" wasn't what he expected. "It would not typically happen here (in New York). There are cops on every sidewalk here," Garth said.

After a brief scuffle, the gang armed themselves with glass bottles and chased the three tourists down the quays.

Patrick's arm was "broken by a large bottle that was meant for my head", Garth said.

"My brother put up his arm in defence and the bottle broke it. I thank my brother for that. I had been hit with multiple bottles at that point.

"When I was hit with the first one, that caused the scar that runs from my forehead down to my cheek," he said.

He praised the garda response, given that their numbers "have been trimmed way back". "They identified these guys. It took them no time at all to find them," he said.

Despite the attack, the Russells continued with their trip, with Garth walking "around looking like Frankenstein". He suffered permanent facial scarring and still has glass embedded under his eye.

Ian Dent (21), of Stanaway Road, Crumlin, was sentenced in the Circuit Court to five years in jail on two counts of violent disorder, while Aidan Finnegan (28), of Reuben St, Rialto, was given four years.

Richard Fish (24), of St Anthony's Road, Rialto, was sentenced to three years.

A fourth accused, Anthony Clifford (23), of Mourne Road, Drimnagh, was sentenced last December to six years.

Judge Patrick McCartan criticised the juvenile justice system as being incapable of dealing with violent young men who "prowl the streets taking their opportunities as they arrive".

hnews@herald.ie

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