independent

Monday 20 October 2014

Young man is beaten up and left blind in one eye

Published 07/05/2013 | 05:42

A young Wexford man was cut on the face with broken glass and his friend was left blind in one eye following a recent assault in Redmond Square.

The incident happened in the early hours of Saturday, April 21, after the two friends went out socialising.

As they were leaving a premises on the quay at about 2 a.m., a bouncer held them back a few minutes for safety while another individual was being ejected.

They walked along the quay towards Redmond Square where the girlfriend of one of the men was collecting them in her car.

Four males came from behind and assaulted them without warning.

'I was hit on the back of the head with a glass bottle and I fell to the ground,' said one of the victims, who did not wish to be named for fear of reprisal.

'I don't want these thugs to know my name or find out where I live,' said the 23-year-old.

While he was lying unconscious on the road, he was kicked in the head.

At the same time, an assault was being carried out on his friend, a diabetes sufferer who had a visual impairment in one eye prior to the attack. The second victim shouted to his attackers that he was visually impaired but they continued to beat him up.

He sustained a detached retina and is now completely blind in the damaged eye, whereas previously he was able to see light and shapes.

His girlfriend got out of the car and screamed at them to stop.

One of them picked up a piece of glass and cut the first victim across the eyebrow. He later received four stitches to the wound.

The attacker then used the glass to slash a tyre and scratch the side of the young woman's car.

After the four males left the scene, she moved her car to a safer place to telephone the gardaí.

When the gardaí arrived, she and the first victim went with them to try to identify the perpetrators.

The second victim stayed in the car but after a short time, he got out to look for his friends.

As he wandered along the Main Street in a distressed state, covered in blood, he was attacked a second time by a different group of males.

The first victim said he travelled all over Australia for a year and never experienced anything like this.

'I've never been involved in a fight. I wouldn't even look crooked at someone when I'm out because I know it's dangerous.'

He said he was eager to highlight the incident because he has heard it has happened a lot in Wexford.

'I want to wake up the people of Wexford to the fact that this is happening, that the streets of Wexford are dangerous at night,' he said.

'We're in a recession and we need tourists but they won't come here if the place gets a reputation for violence.'

He was very traumatised by the attack and has not been out since it happened but is getting back on his feet, he said.

'I'm coping well. I have a new job and I went back to work after a few days.'

'When I do go out for a drink again, it will be in a group. I don't want to be attacked for no reason.

'I'm lucky to be alive. My friend is blind for life in one eye.

'It could have been a murder investigation and then it would be too late.'

Wexford People

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