Finglas machete attack part of ongoing feud, court told
Updated / Wednesday, 4 May 2022 17:11
A machete attack on a man on the road outside Finglas Garda Station in Dublin three years ago was part of an ongoing feud between two rival gangs in Finglas and Blanchardstown, the Central Criminal Court heard today.
The victim, Kenneth Fitzsimons, who is currently serving five-and-a-half-years for possession of a firearm, refused to testify against his attacker, Martin Cunningham, and told gardaí that Cunningham was “a fool” for pleading guilty.
The machete attack was one of 70 incidents that includes petrol bomb attacks and shootings as part of a feud that continues today.
Martin Cunningham, of Warrenstown Drive in Mulhuddart, was originally charged with attempted murder but the charge was dropped after he pleaded guilty to assault causing harm and producing a machete.
Kenneth Fitzsimons was standing at a bus stop close to Finglas Garda Station when he saw Martin Cunningham first jogging, then sprinting towards him with what he described as a “big-ass machete” with an orange handle.
He told the gardaí he heard him say something like “Kenneth, I’m going to chop you up” before swinging “wildly” at him “like a mad man”.
“I could see it in his eyes, “he said. “I think he was coked out of it.”
Fitzsimons was knocked to the ground and cut deeply in his arms, legs, neck and torso before he escaped and ran into Finglas Garda Station where he bled on the floor of the reception area.
His ribs were exposed and he needed four litres of blood before he was operated on, but he recovered without further complications.
He then told gardaí he would not give evidence against Cunningham, that anything he has said to them was due to the effect of drugs which, he said, had a detrimental impact on his memory. He wanted to withdraw his complaint.
Detective Sergeant Damien Mangan agreed today that the prosecution case relied entirely on the Fitzsimons evidence, as Cunningham’s DNA or fingerprints could not be found on the machete, and when arrested and interviewed he replied “no comment” to all questions.
The charge of attempted murder against Cunningham was dropped and he pleaded guilty to assault causing harm. His victim described him as “a bigger fool” for admitting what he had done because he would “walk” if he said nothing.
Cunningham has previous convictions, including for possession of drugs, and was on bail when he attacked Fitzsimons.
The attack was one of over 70 as part of an ongoing feud between rival gangs in Finglas and Blanchardstown. Shots had been fired at Cunningham’s home and the windows put in with hammers.
Fitzsimons is currently serving five-and-a-half-years for possession of a firearm, another feud related crime.
Ms Justice Eileen Creedon will sentence Martin Cunningham next Monday.