The injured man, Barry Dennehy, 46, said from the witness box yesterday at Cork Circuit Criminal Court: “I went from being a happy, outgoing man in my family and my work…”
At that stage in Mr Dennehy’s victim impact evidence he became distressed and handed his written statement to the sentencing judge instead.
Sergeant Bill Daly, who investigated the attack on Mr Dennehy outside his home at Marble Park, Riverstown, Glanmire, Co Cork, at 3.45am on June 14, 2008, described it as “vicious”.
“Barry Dennehy received a blow from Denis Noonan with a claw-hammer in the back of the head,” Sgt Daly said.
Judge Seán O Donnabháin imposed a two-year sentence on Denis Noonan aged 20, of 36 Brooklodge Grove, Glanmire, with the last nine months suspended, on a charge of assault causing harm to Mr Dennehy.
His brother, Thomas Noonan, 19, of the same address, was jailed for one year for engaging in violent disorder at the same time and place.
A third brother, Kevin Noonan, 29, and again of the same address, was given a one-year sentence for engaging in violent disorder but all of his sentence was suspended because he had co-operated in full with the probation service.
A sum of €7,300, gathered by the three brothers for Mr Dennehy, was described less as compensation than as a token of remorse.
The judge said: “This is a very serious incident of blackguardism.
“They went about causing as much disruption to this man for reasons best known to themselves.”
Sgt Daly said Mr Dennehy left his home during the incident because damage was being caused to his 4x4 parked outside.