Homeless Limerick man pleaded with gang of ‘feral’ youths to stop beating him

Aaron Holland appeared before Limerick Circuit Criminal Court. Photo: Brendan Gleeson.

A TIPPERARY man who was part of a gang of “feral” youths that kicked and punched a homeless man over 100 times in Limerick City was remanded on bail for sentencing.

“Stop, please, please, I beg ye, please stop,” the victim, Declan Quinlivan, told the three-man gang as he lay on the ground weeping and groaning in pain as they continued kicking him multiple times about his head.

Aaron Holland (19), with an address at Marian Road, Templemore, County Tipperary, appeared for sentencing before Limerick Circuit Criminal Court on Tuesday (May 7), after previously pleading guilty to one count of violent disorder at the junction of Wickham Street and Thomas Street in Limerick City on May 8, 2022.

Judge Tom O’Donnell said it was a “very serious” case.

Prosecuting barrister John O’Sullivan said Mr Holland and two others attacked and robbed Mr Quinlivan (39), who was vulnerable and homeless at the time.

Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter

Mr Holland, who was 17 at the time, along with two others aged 15 and 20, chased Mr Quinlivan before kicking and punching him 109 times as he lay on the ground unable to fight back. They also robbed him of cash, cigarettes, and a mobile phone.

Mr O’Sullivan said the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the three accused be prosecuted on a charge of violent disorder as Mr Quinlivan had not made a formal statement to Gardaí about the assault and robbery, which the court heard was captured on CCTV.

Garda Jason Walmsley, Roxboro Road Garda Station, agreed with Mr O’Sullivan that Mr Holland and the two other males, who are separately before the courts, were “feral youths” roaming the streets of Limerick City at 5.20am when the early morning unprovoked attack occurred.

Video footage of the attack was played in court, showing the three males repeatedly kicking and punching Mr Quinlivan as he pleaded with them to stop.

“Take what ye want lads, but please stop beating me,” Mr Quinlivan is heard saying on the recording.

Mr Quinlivan was taken to University Hospital Limerick, but evidence of his injuries was not disclosed in court and he did not make a victim impact statement.

Gardaí eventually caught up with Mr Holland in October 2022 after he was identified via the CCTV footage.

He admitted everything to Gardaí and acknowledged that Mr Quinlivan had been terrified during the unprovoked attack.

He was heard threatening Mr Quinlivan that he knew who he was and warned him not to make a complaint to Gardaí.

Judge O’Donnell said the probation service were under pressure to prepare probation reports on accused persons, but noted it was a case that merited a report.

Mr Holland, who was in court with his mother, was remanded on continuing bail for a probation report and sentencing on June 19.