Jail attack on man who exposed himself in court

Man’s solicitor said John Joyce suffered a skull fracture and had brain surgery

A man who exposed himself to a judge in Ennis last week needed brain surgery after being savagely attacked in the showers in Limerick prison last Sunday. Brian Joyce (21) was due to appear at Ennis District Court yesterday in relation to an assault charge on a teenager. However, when his name was called out, his solicitor Tara Godfrey said he was “hospitalised critically in Cork”.

Judge Patrick Durcan said: “I’m sorry to hear that. Had he an accident?” Ms Godfrey replied: “He was attacked, judge.”

When Judge Durcan asked when it was likely Joyce would be able to attend court, Ms Godfrey told him: “He has just had brain surgery and we aren’t sure of the prognosis.” Ms Godfrey said Joyce had suffered a skull fracture and in the aftermath of the attack was unable to recognise members of his family.

It is understand he was found in a pool of blood in the prison showers last Sunday afternoon. The Prison Service has declined to give details of his condition.


In court last Friday, Joyce “mooned” at Judge Durcan and as he slapped his exposed backside, he shouted “Up the Joyces! Up the Clare Joyces”. Joyce then turned around to expose his penis to the judge and court.

Joyce’s behaviour after Judge Durcan refused bail to his brother, John Joyce (18), sparked a melee during which a garda was allegedly the subject of an assault. The two Joyces, of St Enda’s Beechpark, Ennis, were before the court in respect of an assault charge in Ennis on October 14th last.

Judge Durcan suspended the court sitting. On his return to court, he said what had occurred “was the worst outbreak of violence I have ever witnessed in a court either as a practitioner or as a judge”.

Joyce’s brother John was also before the court yesterday and Judge Durcan remanded the brothers in custody to reappear before the court on November 4th.

During the bail hearing last Friday, Garda Robert Grant said it would be alleged Brian and John Joyce had stabbed a teenager at his home in Ennis on October 14th.

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan

Gordon Deegan is a contributor to The Irish Times