Bar owner horrified after children were 'kicked, punched and spat at' during Halloween event
The owner of a popular bar in Louth where a number of children were allegedly attacked during a haunted house event has spoken out about his disgust at the incident.
It is claimed that a group of youths punched, kicked and spat at a number of children who were volunteering at a “fright night" in Fitzpatrick’s Bar and Restaurant.
Danny Fitzpatrick says he was horrified by what happened and has now stepped up security since the incidents, which took place last week.
Mr Fitzpatrick has been running the haunted house event for seven years to raise money for Temple Street Children’s Hospital and other local charities.
Kids in the area volunteer each year to dress up and scare visitors who travel through the haunted house.
“My kid was bullied when she was at school and it took her a few years to get it out of her system, so I was horrified when I heard what happened with these kids being verbally and physically abused,” Mr Fitzpatrick told Independent.ie.
There was a group "who were giving a lot of verbal abuse to the adults and to the kids. I thought it was just a one off bad night that we had but it happened again the following night."
“Some of the kids came to me afterwards and told me they were punched and kicked, spat at and called names – one girl even received a burn to the face,” he said.
The young girl returned to Fitzpatrick’s to help identify some of the attackers.
Her mother was very shaken by what happened and informed Mr Fitzpatrick that she couldn’t let her daughter do the haunted house events any more.
“It is completely understandable,” he said.
“I have never witnessed anything like it before and luckily, since then, we have stepped up security and there have been no more incidents.”
An extra 20 security personnel were brought in to work at the bar since last week, with members of the public offering to assist following a message posted by Mr Fitzpatrick on Facebook.
In his post, he said:
“I am now at the stage of rethinking all the Halloween fright nights for the rest of this year as I cannot put people's kids in this type of fear and torment. So to reassure the parents of the kids who do the acting to raise money for sick kids I am putting on extra security to stop this kind of behaviour and to let people know that if you come to Fitzpatrick's with intentions of damaging or abusing anyone you will be escorted to the gate and never let back in.”
The bar owner says the children informed him that their attackers were aged between 14 and 22.
Gardaí were made aware of the incidents and are currently looking into the matter.