Young man (19) jailed after gang attack left teenager Alanna Quinn Idris blind in one eye

A young man who took part in a gang attack on a teenage girl who was left blind in one eye has been jailed for four-and-a-half years.

Darragh Lyons (19) admitted causing Alanna Quinn Idris serious harm during the assault in Ballyfermot on December 30, 2021.

He also pleaded guilty to violent disorder and assault arising from the same incident during which another teenager, Louis O’Sullivan, was violently beaten with weapons and stabbed.

Ms Quinn Idris was 17 at the time of the incident and lost the use of her right eye after being hit with the saddle of an e-scooter and knocked unconscious.

Lyons, of Glenaulin in Chapelizod, Dublin 20, punched her once in the face during the incident and later jumped over her as she lay prone on the ground to continue attacking Mr O’Sullivan.

Judge Martin Nolan today described the attack as “premeditated” and “savage”, and said the teenage girl was attacked while trying to protect her friend who was the “chief target” of the gang.

He said Ms Quinn Idris gave a “very, very moving” victim impact statement and was deeply affected by the attack.

Judge Nolan said he did not believe that Lyons wanted the victim to suffer serious injuries, but added that he was involved and culpable by common design.

In mitigation he took into account his lack of previous convictions, his cooperation, and his age, saying that young people do “irrational and stupid” things.

He said the maximum sentence for assault causing harm was life and that the state submitted that the sentence should be between 10-14 years.

Judge Nolan said he believed the headline sentence was between eight and nine years and, taking everything into account, sentenced the defendant to four-and-a-half years imprisonment.

Two other males allegedly involved are currently before the courts while a third individual, who hit Ms Quinn Idris with the saddle, was never identified.

They were described in court as an “organised” gang of four males who tracked and observed their victims from a distance.

In her victim impact statement Ms Quinn Idris said the “vicious and unnecessary” attack had destroyed both her confidence and her chance of having a normal life.

“The life I was supposed to live was taken away from me before I turned 18,” she said, adding that life as she knew it “came to an abrupt end”.

Ms Quinn Idris described how she now has to live the rest of her life disabled, and that the woman she was supposed to become “died that night”.

She added: “Sometimes I wish I never woke up from when I was hit with that object”.

Yesterday prosecutor Edward Doocey BL took garda Ciaran Murray, of Ballyfermot garda station, through the facts of the case.

The court heard that the two teenage victims alighted from a bus in Ballyfermot at 9.30pm on the night of the assault.

There was a brief verbal altercation between Mr O’Sullivan and a male referred to as Suspect A, who later summoned three others teens to the area.

Ms Quinn Idris and her friend had walked to a friends house on Ballyfermot Road when they were approached by the gang.

Darragh Lyons, who had turned 18 that day, arrived at the scene on a bike and was the first to cross the road towards the victims.

He was also heard saying to Louis O’Sullivan “Do you want a straightener?”.

The teenage girl attempted to get in between her friend and the defendant, before shoving Lyons.

Gda Murray said the defendant retaliated by punching her in the face, causing her to fall backwards to the ground.

The court heard two other males, Suspect B and Suspect C, were attacking Mr O’Sullivan with a hurl and an e-scooter saddle while also punching and kicking him in the head.

Evidence was given that Alanna Quinn Idris had regained her footing and attempted to stop the attack.

She was subsequently hit in the face with the saddle by Suspect C with a “baseball style-swing”, knocking her unconscious immediately.

The court heard Lyons jumped over her as she lay prone on the ground and said “stab him lads” before continuing the assault on Mr O’Sullivan.

He was struck eight times with the hurl, seven times with the saddle, and stabbed once, while the attack only ended after a minute when passing motorists intervened.

As a result of the incident Alanna Quinn Idris lost vision in her right eye and will need a new eye for what Judge Nolan said were aesthetic purposes.

Dean Kelly SC, defending, said his client bears moral and criminal responsibility for what happened but did not inflict the “very serious injuries” on the victim.

Counsel also said that Darragh Lyons was not armed at any point during the incident was asked to repeat his client’s apology to Ms Quinn Idris.

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