Eugene Hanratty jailed for Martin McAllister assault in Castleblayney – BBC


A millionaire businessman has been jailed for an unprovoked attack in which he knocked his victim unconscious and slammed a car door on his hands.
Eugene Hanratty Snr, 63, attacked Martin McAllister at a remote farm near Castleblayney in County Monaghan in 2012.
The victim's injuries included impaired eyesight and a haematoma on his brain.
Hanratty will spend four years in prison, with the final 12 months suspended.
Sentencing Hanratty, from Crossmaglen in County Armagh, a judge in Dublin described the assault as unprovoked and premeditated.
Mr McAllister said he was assaulted because he had challenged Hanratty about allegations of diesel sludge dumping and in 2010 had walked with then-PSNI chief constable, Matt Baggott, down the main street of Crossmaglen, raising the issue.
He told the court this made him "very unpopular with certain people".
The defendant was previously accused of cross-border fuel smuggling and had €2m (£1.75m) across different bank accounts frozen by the Republic of Ireland's Criminal Assets Bureau (CAB).
He denied these claims.
When this case came to court in 2007 the judge was told a confidential settlement had been reached between the bureau and Hanratty.
In his victim impact statement at an earlier hearing, Mr McAllister said "the vicious and premeditated assault" has had a devastating effect on him physically and mentally.
He told the judge he had suffered multiple broken bones and the permanent loss of peripheral vision in his left eye.
As a musician the injuries impinge on his everyday life, he continued, including reading music and his sense of space.
He said he had experienced 10 years of pain and would continue to do so for the rest of his life.
Mr McAllister also told the court he had suffered dexterity problems in his right arm because of the beating.
"I struggle every day," he said. "There's no escape from this torture."
Before delivering the sentence the court heard from Hanratty's counsel that he was at rock bottom and finding prison very difficult as an older man.
His counsel said a psychologist found him to be suicidal.
But in passing sentence, Ms Justice Greally said his remorse was mostly directed at himself and his family and not the victim.
She noted there had never been an apology.
Hanratty, whose company sponsors Crossmaglen Rangers GAA club, had a previous 1989 conviction for assaulting a Garda (Irish policeman).
It took three trials for a jury to find unanimously Hanratty guilty.
The first trial had to be abandoned after the Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, based investigating officer initially refused to give evidence.
Judges at two of the trials strongly criticised Garda John Doherty for his initial refusal and then the quality of the evidence he gave.
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