Jail for Corkman who stated he was within the IRA and beat the sufferer with poker within the park row

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A small exchange regarding parking a car caused a man to call a house in Cork City and register as a member of the IRA and attack the homeowner with a poker.

Detective Superintendent Michael Comyns testified at the hearing of 46-year-old Gavin Craven at 34 Glenfield Avenue in Ballyvolane, Cork.

Craven pleaded guilty in the Cork Circuit Criminal Court for harming the man on his doorstep in Liffey Park, Mayfield, Cork.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin imprisoned Craven for three years. This consisted of a four-year sentence, the last year being suspended.

The judge ruled it a crime of almost total lawlessness. “This guy thought he could do what he wanted. There is a mishap with a parked car and he arms himself with a poker and goes to the other man's house.

“That is lawlessness of entitlement – a bad and dangerous combination. I take a serious look at what happened and what was said.

When there was a drink and blood spilled, it was done with determination and ferocity.

"That was completely unprovoked," said the judge.

Det. Supt Comyns said the background to the attack was that another person called the injured man's home at around 11 p.m. on August 1, 2020, asking him to move his car because he had to park his own car in an area , which was covered by video surveillance and video surveillance. The victim's car was in the way.

The injured man said he would do it in the morning as he could not drive that evening because of the alcohol consumption at home. The caller alerted Gavin Craven, who called the house 30 minutes later.

“He was very hostile and had an iron bar in hand. He said, “I am an Irish Republican Army. You don't know who you are fucking with. I'll have people doing the house and the car. "

“(The injured person said the caller) was very threatening. He was like a wild animal that grinds its teeth and hits the fence with an iron bar, ”said Det. Supt. Comyns said.

After a while in front of the house, Craven finally lunged at the homeowner and hit him in the right elbow with the iron bar. Then he repeated the threats that people should do the car and the house.

When Gardaí arrived in the area, they found that the tip of a poker had broken off during the altercation which was being recorded on video surveillance.

Det. Supt. Comyns said the defendant denied he was a member of the IRA but said he was a Republican.

Defense attorney Emmet Boyle said the defendant was drunk when he received the call from a man who said the homeowner used “awkward words” about moving the parked car during the exchange.

The impact on the victim

The injured man said: “The man who attacked me not only physically assaulted me but also threatened to return with members of the Irish Republican Army and destroy me, my partner, my partner's car and my home. I've lived in my house all my life, staying to myself and moving on with my neighbors.

“Because of his threats, my partner and I felt vulnerable and unsafe to stay at home.

"Other people think I should be strong or that I shouldn't care what happened, but that's easier said than done.

“I don't handle it mentally well. This seizure increased my anxiety and caused me to increase my medication, which affected my quality of life.

"I am a private individual and this attack left me helpless, angry and ashamed."