Trio face sentencing for attack on US tourists

Three men who took part in a vicious attack in Dublin city centre on two US tourists who had tried to stop a robbery will be sentenced on Monday.

The tourists tried several times to hail taxis to escape their attackers, who were throwing glass bottles, but the drivers “didn’t want to know about it”.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring, at the earlier sentencing of a co-accused, had criticised this failure to help the victims, saying the attack happened in “one of the busiest places in the city and yet, shamefully, no one came to the assistance of these men”.

US stockbroker Garth Russell suffered permanent facial scarring and still has glass embedded under his eye. The court heard his career was “significantly stunted” because of the attack. His brother Patrick suffered a broken arm.

A jury found Ian Dent, aged 21, of Stanaway Rd, Crumlin, guilty by majority verdict of two counts of violent disorder at Merchant’s Arch in Dublin 2 and at nearby Crampton Quay on April 29, 2012.

Aidan Finnegan, aged 28, of Reuben St, Rialto, was unanimously convicted of one count of violent disorder.

Richard Fish, a 24-year-old father of two, of St Anthony’s Rd, Rialto, had pleaded guilty to two counts of violent disorder.

A fourth accused, Anthony Clifford, aged 23, of Mourne Rd, Drimnagh, was previously sentenced to six years in prison with one year suspended after pleading guilty to two counts of violent disorder.

Sergeant Amanda Flood told Kerida Naidoo, prosecuting, that the brothers were walking in Temple Bar when they stumbled on an apparent mugging in progress at Merchants’ Arch.

When Garth Russell intervened and threatened to call gardaí, the gang turned on the brothers and began assaulting them.

Padraig Dwyer, defending Dent, said his client went “off the rails” with a drink and drug problem but is now free from illicit drugs and regrets his involvement.

Gerry O’Brien, defending Finnegan, said his client comes from a respectable family.

Tara Burns, defending Fish, said he was remorseful and wanted to apologise to the Russell brothers. She said Fish is actively engaged in treatment for alcohol addiction.

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