Man jailed for nine years for bottle attack during Grand National

Alan Healy (47) stabbed man in the eye while watching horse race at his home in April

A 47-year-old man has been jailed for nine years for an unprovoked bottle attack on another man as they were watching the Irish Grand National earlier this year.

Alan Healy, of Spring Lane, Blackpool, Cork, pleaded guilty to assault causing serious harm to Martin Doyle (40) at Healy's home on April 1st 2013.

Det Garda Deirdre Murphy told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Healy, Mr Doyle and another man, Christy Duggan were watching the race in Healy's home and making phone bets.

They had all been drinking and for no apparent reason, Healy attacked Mr Doyle, stabbing him in the eye with either a broken bottle or a broken glass, causing serious injury.


“Martin Doyle was lucky not to lose his left eye or lose his sight in it - he ended up losing his eye lid in the attack - he passed out and when he woke up Alan Healy was standing over him”

Christy Duggan had fallen asleep but he woke up to find Healy attacking Mr Doyle and he tried to intervene but Healy began assaulting him before Healy went out of the house.

Healy called to a neighbour’s house covered in blood and the neighbour alerted gardai who arrested Healy for a public order offence and some time later arrested him for the assault.

Healy told gardai that he had been drinking heavily on the night and could not remember what happened but he was willing to accept the version of events put to him by gardai.

Mr Doyle told the court that he was taken to Cork University Hospital and later transferred to St James’ Hospital in Dublin where he underwent a series of operations on his eye.

He has to wear sunglasses in any sunlight and he was still facing further operations on the eye and he was now on tablets to help him sleep and stave off nightmares.

However, he had been deeply affected by the incident and he no longer went out to pubs after being refused entry to one pub when they saw the scar on his face from the attack.

The court heard Healy, who was convicted of a rape in 1994, had a serious drink problem and also suffered from psychiatric problems following the death of his father in 2006.

His counsel, Jim O’Mahony SC said his client was deeply remorseful for what he had done to Mr Doyle and had saved Mr Doyle the trauma of having to give evidence by his guilty plea.

Judge Sean O Donnabhain said that were it not for his guilty plea, he believed the full penalty for Healy if convicted after a trial would have been a sentence of 15 years.

“What you inflicted on Martin Doyle was an unprovoked attack of mindless violence which resulted in the most gruesome of injuries, “ said Judge O Donnabhain.

He said taking Healy’s guilty plea and expression of remorse into account, he believed the appropriate sentence was one of nine years backdated to when he went into custody in April.

Barry Roche

Barry Roche

Barry Roche is Southern Correspondent of The Irish Times