TWO members of the same family who played a central role in a “cowardly” assault on a 15-year-old girl were each sentenced to 18 months’ imprisonment.
Mark Mulqueen, aged 45, and John Lysaght, aged 25, who both have addresses in Prospect, pleaded guilty to engaging in violent disorder on May 6 2013.
Two other members of the same extended family - Sarah O’Neill, aged 24 and Teresa O’Neill, aged 29 - who also pleaded guilty to violent disorder relating to the same incident, have avoided immediate custodial sentences.
Garda Cormac Flanagan said the brawl erupted at around 4.30pm, a short time after Mulqueen encountered a group of youths on Parnell Street.
Limerick Circuit Court was told Mulqueen, who has a large number of previous convictions, believed his mobile phone had been stolen by one of the youths and “procured the services” of his nephew John Lysaght to “get revenge”.
The O’Neill sisters also responded and travelled to the area by car having received reports that their cousin, Mulqueen, had been attacked.
The teenage victim was pulled by the hair, punched and kicked during the incident, which lasted for around 40 seconds.
Although, he did not attack the girl, Lysaght was shouting and roaring and holding the wooden leg of a table which had been modified to look like a bat. The victim suffered cuts to her head, arm and back but didn’t require medical attention.
Judge O’Donnell said the manner in which the “troops were rallied” and the 15-year-old isolated and subjected to a “ hiding” was very disturbing as was the “meting out of summary justice”.
Each of the defendants had been “blinded by a misguided sense of family loyalty” and that incidents such as what happened have “no place in a civilised society”.
Mulqueen and Lysaght were sentenced to three years’ imprisonment, with the final 18 months suspended. Sarah O’Neill and Teresa O’Neill’s sentences were suspended in their entirety.