Philip Moore was minding his own business in a Cork City nightclub in 2010 when the attack “destroyed my life”.
Even experienced members of the emergency services who arrived on the scene were shocked by his injuries.
Philip had emergency surgery and has since been getting silicone implanted in the wound.
“I’ve had five to six silicone injections, but they haven’t been working so I have to go back again for more surgery in April,” said Philip, who lives in Shandon. “If that doesn’t work I don’t know what I’ll do.”
His two sons were aged four and eight at the time.
“It was very traumatic for the boys. They couldn’t understand what happened to me and I couldn’t explain it to them,” he said.
Philip is very reluctant to go out in the city any more, but doesn’t mind going to his local pub, where he’s comfortable as people know him and what happened to him.
“I feel very conscious of people looking at me. The kids’ friends say ‘oh my God what happened to your face’.”
Philip is unemployed and fears that if he goes for a job interview, prospective employers would look at him “and think you’re a scumbag”.
“This is seriously hampering my job prospects,” he said.
He said he’s aware of other people who have been seriously injured in unprovoked biting attacks.
“I’d advise them to get counselling. It’s the only way to deal with it. I’ve had counselling and I still need more.”
Philip said he’s had good days and bad days since the attack. He said the scar is still very noticeable and he is constantly reminded of the attack.
“People who perpetrate such acts should realise they are ruining other people’s lives. The lives of my partner and my kids have also been turned upside down by what happened.”
One happy event occurred in Philip’s life last Valentine’s Day, when his fiancée, Kim, gave birth to their daughter.
Philip praised Sgt Barry Myers, one of the first people on the scene after the attack.
“I couldn’t thank Sgt Myers for all he’s done for me. He was always there when I needed him and only a phone call away.”
Philip’s attacker, Paul Herlihy, aged 20, of 29 Father Mathew Road, Turner’s Cross, Cork, was sentenced on Tuesday to a four-year suspended jail term. Herlihy also paid €11,500 compensation.
Sgt Myers testified during the case that it was the worst injury he’d seen as a result of an assault in all his 16 years as a garda.
A number of other vicious biting incidents have been before the courts recently. One of the latest on Feb 8 involved a man who bit off parts of the ears of two brothers.