Last week (30/06/20) I stumbled upon news online (https://www.independent.ie/irish-news/courts/man-stabbed-16-times-and-set-on-fire-after-ex-spread-false-rumour-that-he-was-garda-informant-court-told-39328681.html) concerning a court case that took place at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, Dublin 8.
The ingredients of the court case involved a victim who was placed inside a dog cage and stabbed 16 times before being doused in petrol and set on fire. The victim somehow survived this attack and while he was receiving treatment for his injuries in hospital he was given a 1% chance of survival. His whole house caught fire and his dogs were killed in the attack.
It is five years since the offense took place and the victim is literally still bleeding from the wounds that were inflicted upon him. 96% of his body is burnt from the neck down. He has lost his ears. His head is burnt and defaced from where his hair was scorched off. He now covers his body and wears beanie hats everywhere he goes to hide his disfigurement and protect himself from his own haunting image. He will never again function as a normal person. He has been rendered unemployable and disabled. Panic attacks, sleepless days and nights, and other serious problems torment this young man and will continue to do so for a very long time. He wishes he had of died. The young man in this case was 25 when he was subjected to this unthinkable act of cruelty.
As a man of this world I have no shame in confessing that this news upset me (and I am not somebody that is easily upset). Visualizing this brutal event in my imagination made me feel sorrowful and low-spirited. Thankfully I do not know what it feels like to go through such hellish trauma. I can only imagine that such an experience would rob me of every ounce of happiness and good faith that I have in this world. I can’t imagine what it is like to look in the mirror with desolate eyes and see the savaged remnants of my plundered identity staring back at me every day. It makes me quiver to know that there are guys out there that would do this to another living being.
We all go through ups and downs in life. Sometimes it rains and sometimes the sun shines. I’d like to think that there are plenty of good-natured forces out there; actually, I know that there is a lot of good out there, but sadly I am also all too well aware of the very real evil that exists in this world and every once in a while I stumble upon something such as the news that I found last week, and it makes me feel very uneasy about the world around me. In fact sometimes the world makes me feel very dull and dejected indeed.
I do not know the victim of last week’s terrible court case. I have never met him before but I know from news sources that his name is Ciarán Murphy and he is 29 years old. I don’t know what I could say to Ciarán Murphy if I could sit down and have a chat with him right now; there are questions I’d be curious to ask him and there would be so many well-wishes that I would like to extend to him but I can imagine that there is only so much comfort that well-wishes might bring him at this point in time. There is however one thing at a near juncture that might have the potential to bring him some – not much but some – peace of mind and that one thing is a prison sentence that is due to be imposed on one of the two individuals that destroyed his life.
One of the assailants is due to be sentenced by a circuit court judge on July 28, 2020. I hope that the judge in this case affords Ciarán Murphy the dignity he deserves; I hope that she does what is just and what is right, and I hope that for the sake of the Irish courts, the people of Ireland and the rest of the world that she imposes the lengthiest sentence available to her for to do otherwise would be the gravest insult to anybody who has any faith at all in the justice system of this country.