Saturday 19 August 2017

'I'm upset and angry' - Mother whose son (13) was airlifted to hospital after school break assault

Exclusive: Keane Gallagher-Payton was assaulted by two other youths in Co Clare

Keane Gallagher-Payton is expected to make a full recovery
Keane Gallagher-Payton is expected to make a full recovery
Amy Molloy

Amy Molloy

The mother of a 13-year-old teenager who was airlifted to hospital on Wednesday after being viciously assaulted by two students has spoken out about her son's terrifying ordeal.

Keane Gallagher-Payton, from Ennistymon, Co Clare was assaulted by two other youths aged 14, who are students at a different school in the town.

Speaking to Independent.ie, his mother Clare said her son was "very lucky" that his injuries weren't more serious.

"It was a very difficult thing to go through for us all but hopefully Keane will be okay," she said.

Doctors say Keane will make a full recovery but Ms Gallagher is worried about the impact it will have on him psychologically.

"I'm worried he may struggle in the coming weeks and months with his confidence and that he won't feel safe."

When asked about the culprits, she said: "I'm angry and upset about what they did to my son but I'm hoping it just got out of hand and they didn't actually intend on hurting him so much.

"I suppose that's what happens in a lot of these cases but young ones in particular don't seem to think about how simple it can be to cause such potential life threatening injuries."

Her son was recently in the news for coming first in his age group at the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge in Maynooth - an international initiative where students from all over Ireland submit projects to be adjudicated.

"I didn't expect him to be in the news again so soon, especially in these circumstances.

"We are hoping he will be released from hospital this evening if his stats remain stable. He has recovered well and has shown no other signs of seizing."

She said that the two boys who assaulted him were known to Keane and would not be considered troublemakers, which made it all the more shocking.

The assault took place between 1.15pm and 2pm while the teenagers were on their school break.

It is believed Keane was knocked to the ground, resulting in him suffering a head injury

After being assessed by paramedics, the decision was made to airlift him to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

Clare travelled on the helicopter with him and admitted it was an awful experience, but is thankful he is on the mend.

"It was extremely frightening, at this stage he was still in and out of consciousness and vomiting in between so I tried to concentrate on Keane and it didn't really sink in until later that we'd

even been in the helicopter.

"We're lucky I suppose, it could have been much worse when a head injury and concussion was involved."

Gardaí are continuing to appeal for witnesses.

"We are investigating all the circumstances of this serious assault and would ask anyone who was in the Monastery Lane area of Ennistymon on Wednesday afternoon between 1pm and 2pm to contact us at Ennistymon station on 065 7072180."

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