A 22-year-old man has been sentenced to five years in prison for hitting a man from Barna over the head with a wooden mallet during the Galway International Rally last year.

Jason McLoughlin, from Ballyglass, Ahascragh, Ballinasloe, appeared in custody before Galway Circuit Criminal Court today.

He pleaded guilty in March to assaulting David Kilbane, 23, from Barna, at Rossaveal Pier, causing him serious harm, in the early hours of 3 February last year.

Sentence had been adjourned to today for the preparation of reports.

The court heard the victim was left with life-changing injuries and can no longer work as a butcher.

He had been watching boy racers perform "doughnuts" on Ros a Mhil Pier with s friends when he was struck in the head.

The court heard this was a totally unprovoked attack.

CCTV footage taken at the Pier showed the accused take the mallet out of the boot of his car and hit the victim with force over the head for no reason.

He then drove off at speed and threw the mallet into the sea at Salthill and later discarded his jacket on the Motorway as he drove home.

He was arrested at his home the following day and became visibly upset when gardaí showed him the CCTV footage of the attack.

A victim impact statement read to the court by a Garda stated the victim continues to suffer from the effects of the assault which have totally changed his life.

Imposing sentence, Judge Rory McCabe noted the future hopes and dreams of the victim had been destroyed by this attack which he described as "reckless, wanton, violent and unprovoked”.