A local busker has spoken out about the shock of being attacked as he prepared to perform on the streets of Belfast last Friday morning.

John Garrity, who is originally from Enniskillen but is a familiar face on the Belfast busking scene, was setting up his music equipment in Belfast city centre when a man came up to him and, unprovoked, punched him in the face.

“I had just arrived in the city and I hadn’t even started to sing and there was two fellas and they seemed to be pretty out of it on drugs and drink. Well one of them was.

“They lifted some of my equipment and tampered with it. I went over and said to them to leave my stuff alone and I was hit a punch in the side of the mouth,” John told The Impartial Reporter

Commenting that he was shocked by the attack, John continued.

“The general public had all stopped and a couple of them got involved. They were very annoyed. The guy was identified straight away, I’m not sure what the police are going to do. I didn’t go to the police, it happened outside McDonald’s so I think they contacted the police.”

“It was a serious incident and for someone to do that is bad but I just have to brush myself off and get on with it,” he said.

Following the attack, John shared a live video of himself to his Facebook page outlining what had happened. The video has since gone viral receiving over 99,000 views.

“I had good support from the people of Belfast, I received a lot of messages, a lot of emails. I’ve literally had so many people contact me,” said John, noting his gratefulness for the support.

Although distressed by the attack, John says that it won’t put him off busking.

“It’s just one of those ones where you have to take it and get on with it. It’ll not annoy me. It really annoyed me on Friday, I couldn’t work that day at all,” he said, adding: “But it’ll not put me off busking, it’s just another bump on the road.

“I’m working hard on an album, ready to be released. I’m just focusing on getting that done and keeping focused on the music, which is the main reason why I’m there.”

“I’m there to make people happy and to bring them a bit of joy whenever they’re on their lunch break. People need music in their lives,” he told this newspaper.