| 10°C Dublin

Two men yesterday pleaded guilty in relation to a machete attack on a father of 10 as he picked up his child outside a primary school.

Two men yesterday pleaded guilty in relation to a machete attack on a father of 10 as he picked up his child outside a primary school.

In the attack, Bernard McDonagh of Kilrush Road, Ennis, lost a finger before being driven away from his attackers by his then 14-year-old son, John.

Mr McDonagh lauded his son as a hero for his actions when he shoved him out of the driver's seat to drive the two kilometres to Ennis General Hospital on May 18, 2010.


The teenager's five-year-old sister Linda and baby nephew were also in the car as John drove across Ennis to the hospital.

One man has already been jailed for three years in relation to the assault that occurred near the former Ennis National School on Kilrush Road, Ennis. Two others, Anthony McDonagh and Michael McDonagh pleaded guilty to their role yesterday.

In court yesterday, Michael McDonagh (34) of Kilcruttin halting site, Kilcruttin, Tullamore, Co Offaly, pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Bernard McDonagh at Market Place, Ennis.

Anthony McDonagh (28) Ardrew Walk, Dun Brinn, Athy, Co Kildare pleaded guilty to causing harm to Mr McDonagh at the same place on the same date.

Speaking in the aftermath of the sentencing of the man jailed for three years, Bernard McDonagh said: "My son John is a hero. I didn't even know he could drive, but he drove the car like an ambulance going in and out of traffic trying to get me to hospital as quickly as he could."

Mr McDonagh revealed quick-thinking John even recovered his severed finger after the attack and wrapped it in tissue - but doctors couldn't re-attach it.

He described how half his finger was cut off when one of his attackers struck out as he tried to phone 999.

Bernard revealed he threw himself across the children in the back seat of the car during the attack to protect them.

Apart from losing his finger, Bernard McDonagh also suffered injuries to his head, shoulder, elbow and arms.


The attack was the result of a feud between two sides of the McDonagh family.

Counsel for Michael McDonagh, Mark Nicholas, told the court yesterday that his client had never been in trouble "before stupidly getting involved in this incident".

Mr Nicholas asked that a probation report would be made available on Michael McDonagh and counsel for Anthony McDonagh, Pat Whyms, also requested a probation report for his client.

Judge Keyes granted the applications for probation reports on the two and remanded them on bail to re-appear before court on January 12.