Victim of ‘premeditated’ attack by millionaire Eugene Hanratty Snr says ‘no escape from torture’

The victim of what he described as a “deliberate and vicious assault” said there was “no escape from the torture” he continued to suffer physically and mentally.

Artin McAllister read his victim statement at the sentencing of Eugene Hanratty Senior, 63, at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court this morning.

Hanratty, of Castleblayney Road, Crossmaglen, Armagh, was convicted by a jury after a court hearing last month. He had pleaded not guilty to causing an assault on November 24, 2012 in Castleblayney, Co Monaghan.

It was revealed over the weekend that businessman Eugene Hanratty Snr is a millionaire suspected of being a fuel smuggler after he was eventually convicted of the brutal attack on Mr McAllister.

Yesterday, Mr McAllister said the “premeditated” and vicious attack had a devastating impact on his life, both physically and mentally. He said medical reports in court “corroborated” the physical injuries.

He said he had multiple fractured bones in his face, both eye sockets were fractured and he had permanent loss of his peripheral vision. He’s had multiple treatments but to no avail, and the loss of his peripheral vision “interferes with my everyday life.”

Mr McAllister said that as a musician he now has difficulty reading music.

He said the nerves in his face were also damaged from the injuries to his eyes and he was in excruciating pain on the left side of his face.

He underwent nerve decompression surgery in 2014 and had a titanium implant under his left eye that changed how he felt on the left side of his face.

Mr McAllister said this left him with constant problems eating and drinking. He also described problems with his sinuses as a result and said he continues to struggle with injuries to his right arm.

“I’ve had these issues for 10 years that will continue for the rest of my life,” McAllister said.

“It’s been a ten-year wait for justice that has taken a toll on my mental well-being. I’ve lost confidence and I’m struggling every day to keep myself going,” Mr McAllister said, before adding that he has been prescribed both short- and long-term medication to help with anxiety.

“There is no escape from this torture,” he continued.

Referring to the fact that his wife witnessed the attack, Mr McAllister said she has since been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder, anxiety and depression.

“Your suffering fills me with sadness,” McAllister said.

He concluded his victim impact statement by taking the opportunity to thank the court and judiciary who have accompanied him “on this long road to justice.”

Detective Garda Paul Everard told prosecutors Garrett McCormack BL that Mr McAllister and his wife were driving in Castleblayney en route to Crossmaglen at 4.20pm on the Saturday afternoon of the attack when a vehicle approached with its headlights on.

Mr McAllister told the hearing that he felt his path was blocked by the other vehicle and he could not drive past it. He then recognized the occupants of the car as a father and son, Eugene Hanratty Junior and Eugene Hanratty Senior.

Hanratty Snr approached and began an assault on Mr McAllister in his vehicle, hitting him several times on the head, pulling his hair down and kicking him until he was pulled out of the vehicle by Hanratty Snr.

Det Gda Everard confirmed that Mr McAllister told the trial that the attack continued outside the car and he was constantly kicked on the ground. His right arm was kicked and he was knocked unconscious.

He told the trial that Hanratty Snr was aware he was a musician and felt the stomping on his arm was meaningful in that regard.

Det Gda Everard said Mary McAllister also told the jury it was a sustained assault while her husband was both in and out of the car.

She described asking Hanratty Snr to stop because she was concerned the injuries to her husband would be fatal if the attack continued. The trial heard Hanratty Junior also asked his father to stop attacking the man.

Mr McCormack told Judge Melanie Greally the victim was taken to Drogheda Hospital where he was treated for a series of injuries to his face, arm and wrist. During the trial, the jury was given a booklet containing photos of the injuries.

The attorney said this trial is the third trial in the case.

The first trial resulted in a disagreement and the jury could not reach a verdict, the second trial collapsed after the jury was dismissed. Last October, after deliberating for an hour, the jury unanimously convicted Hanratty Snr.

Mr McCormack reminded Judge Greally that during the trial Hanratty Snr had claimed through his attorney that he was acting in self-defense, but he said the jury denied it and convicted him.

Judge Greally adjourned sentencing until next November 8, when Padraig Dwyer SC, who is defending himself, will cross-examine the Garda and address the court as a mitigating plea.

In October 2016 a further jury at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court acquitted Eugene Hanratty Junior (41) Dundalk Road, Crossmaglen, Armagh of assaulting Mr McAllister, which had caused him harm. It was the state’s case that he did not take part in the physical beatings, but he was charged on the basis of the joint venture.

Hanratty Senior, 63, of Crossmaglen, Co Armagh, was once accused of cross-border fuel smuggling and had £2million frozen in 12 bank accounts by the Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).

He has consistently denied CAB’s allegations. When the case went to court in 2007, however, the judge was told that an agreement had been reached between the Bureau and Mr Hanratty – an agreement agreed to remain confidential. Victim of ‘premeditated’ attack by millionaire Eugene Hanratty Snr says ‘no escape from torture’

Fry Electronics Team

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