I'm lucky I can still see, says man glassed in face outside Antrim pub
An Antrim man who was out celebrating the birth of a school friend's child, has said he is lucky he can still see after a vicious attack outside a pub.
Joseph Bloomer was glassed in the face as he left Barney's Bar in Antrim.
He suffered large cuts to his face, with his eyelids slashed in the attack.
The factory worker also had to jump over two high walls and a fence to make his escape, leaving him with a swollen ankle.
Joseph, who turned 38 yesterday, shared graphic images of the aftermath of the attack with his friends on Facebook.
They quickly attracted attention, with thousands interacting with the post. Joseph described his attacker as a "vicious wee animal".
He wrote: "This unprovoked attack could have been on anybody, honestly anybody.
"I had only stepped two feet out the door and did not know the kid or entice this assault. He didn't know or care who he hit.
"The complete coward and his associates then proceeded to beat another man out the front of the bar. I think he ended up worse off than me."
Joseph said he was lucky to have vision in both eyes after the vicious attack and put the incident down to "nature".
He reported the incident and urged anyone who could help to track those responsible down to contact police. "I think he must have thought I was a bouncer - not that it matters - I was having a ball too. Antrim is a great town," he said, "bar a few. I should have gone to Ibiza," he said.
Hundreds have taken to Joseph's post on social network to offer their sympathies. One friend wrote: "Joe, I'm so sorry. You're such a lovely guy it really sucks something like this would happen to you. I'm not surprised you haven't let it dampen your mood, though. You have a great attitude. I really hope they catch the people who did this. Loads of love."
Joseph said he was taken aback by the reaction and has taken the week off, hopefully to recuperate in Ibiza.
He told the Belfast Telegraph: "It has been touching, I never expected it to rocket the way it has.
"I am happy enough, the doctors say the injuries are just superficial. A lot of people have been running Antrim down after this and I'll not have it - I love the town.
"Hopefully I'll get off to Ibiza on Wednesday to celebrate my friend's wedding anniversary. I wasn't intending to, but after this I just felt I needed it."
The management of Barney's said it is treating this incident "very seriously" and has handed "clear cctv footage" over to the police.