A YOUNG man has described how he could have been killed when he was stabbed five times with a screwdriver during a violent incident in Rathkeale last Christmas.
David Kealy was giving evidence at Newcastle West Court during the hearing of two teenagers who were convicted of assaulting him on December 24, last.
The cousins, who cannot be named because one of them is aged 16, had pleaded not guilty to the charges.
In his evidence, Mr Kealy said he was driving his Range Rover SUV at Fairhill, Rathkeale at around 1.30pm when a white Mercedes car blocked the road in front of him.
He said three men got out of the vehicle and they started “shouting and roaring and boxing” him in through the driver’s window of his jeep.
Pointing to the two accused in the body of the courtroom, he said the older of the two had stabbed him several times in the arm and abdomen and that the second accused had punched him several times.
Mr Kealy rejected suggestions from barrister Michelle Smith de Bruin that he was telling lies.
She suggested there was “bad blood” between the parties and she said: “The whole scenario you have set out is not true.”
In reply, Mr Kealy said: “I could have lost my life. If it was another inch he would have punctured my f****ing lung. I nearly lost my life, I’m not exaggerating.”
Ms Smith de Bruin then put it to the witness that he had a grudge against her clients and that he wanted them to be convicted of the charges.
Mr Kealy agreed there had been problems in the past and he told the court he had travelled “thousands of miles” to give evidence in court.
David Kealy’s brother, Thomas Kealy, who was a passenger in the Range Rover described how he saw the older of the two accused stabbing his brother. “I saw him stab my brother, I will never forget it until the day I die,” he said.
Thomas Kealy described how the younger defendant has hit his brother “with a box” in the window “two or three times maybe”.
He told the court that his brother turned “really pale and white” as he attempted to drive away from the attackers.
David Kealy received medical treatment at the Mid-Western Regional Hospital that evening and the culprits were arrested later that night.
Forensic Scientist Dr Hillary Clark told the court she found blood stains from Mr Kealy on the left sleeve of a top belonging to the older of the two defendants.
She said given the background information this provided “extremely strong support” to the proposition that the defendant was involved in the stabbing incident.
Garda John Crowley, Roxboro, told the court he arrested the defendants in the Rosbrien area of Limerick city at around 2.05pm when he observed the White Mercedes car, which had been used during the incident.
In his evidence, he said the younger of the two men had admitted to him that he had been involved in an incident in Rathkeale earlier in the day.
After convicting both men of the charges, Judge Mary O’Halloran adjourned the case until July 10, next to facilitate the preparation of probation reports in relation to each of the defendants.
She also ordered that a victim impact statement should be prepared by David Kealy for the court. by the next date.