herald

Sunday 17 November 2019

'I thought I was going to die when knife was plunged in my chest'

Colm Henry, the victim of a hammer attack
Colm Henry, the victim of a hammer attack

U2's former photographer has told how he was attacked by a man who intended to kill him when he plunged a bread knife into his chest.

Famed photographer Colm Henry (65) spoke to the Herald yesterday at his home in Bray, Co Wicklow, and revealed he was lucky to be alive after the attack - which also involved him being struck on the forehead with a hammer.

Gardai are keen to speak to a 61-year-old local man, who is well known to the victim, following Thursday's attack.

Broke

It is understood the incident is directly linked to a long-running property dispute.

No arrests have been made in the case.

Mr Henry explained he was "lucky to be alive" after the bread knife was stabbed into his chest but "hit the breast bone" and broke.

"When I came downstairs he came at me with the hammer and a kitchen knife," he said.

"He hit me on the head with the hammer and then stabbed me in the chest.

"He chased me out on to the street. He was just about to try and finish me off.

"But there were a lot of people around and they came to help me. His intention was to kill me. If I hadn't made it to the street I wouldn't have made it.

Colm Henry, a former photographer for U2, shows off his injuries after he suffered a knife attack
Colm Henry, a former photographer for U2, shows off his injuries after he suffered a knife attack

"He needs help - he needs to be institutionalised," added Mr Henry.

He started out in photography in the late 1970s and spent more than 10 years as U2's photographer.

He was the recipient of the "Best of Irish" award in Irish editorial photography.

He said of his time photographing U2: "It was their most creative period by a mile. They started out as boys and ended as men."

The chief suspect in the attack had fled by the time emergency services arrived.

Gardai were last night in contact with a man over the incident.

Mr Henry was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital where he received emergency treatment before discharging himself from the facility yesterday morning.

The photographer retired around a decade ago and has been involved in the B&B trade since then. He has an iconic collection of Irish music photography, including images of Rory Gallagher, Phil Lynott and Shane MacGowan, as well as U2.

Shaken

Mr Henry was yesterday preparing to move out of his home by agreement following receivership proceedings at the Commercial Court.

"This is my Brexit day, to move out by agreement and arrangement," he said.

The arrangement to vacate the property was agreed in the High Court last September.

It is understood the respected family man is relocating to a rural location in Munster but has been left "severely shaken" by the shocking events of Thursday evening.

Local gardai were alerted to the scene on Adelaide Road, Bray, at around 6.30pm and put a cordon in place around the property. There was a large amount of blood at the scene.

A garda spokeswoman confirmed the incident, saying the investigation was ongoing.

"Gardai in Bray are investigating an alleged assault that occurred at Adelaide Road, Bray," she said.

"A male in his 60s was assaulted and received head wounds. He was taken to St Vincent's Hospital for treatment.

"Investigations are ongoing. No arrests have been made."

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