Sunday 17 December 2017

'He's an extremely nice lad' - Community raises over €3,500 for man badly beaten and stabbed on St Patrick's Day

Vitor Vieira was assaulted in Longford on St Patrick's Day
Vitor Vieira was assaulted in Longford on St Patrick's Day

Kathy Armstrong

An Irish town is in shock after a man was assaulted and stabbed last month.

Vitor Vieira was enjoying a night out in Longford town on St Patrick's Day when he was attacked by three people.

The 37-year-old bricklayer lost a substantial amount of blood and spent over two weeks in the Midlands Regional Hospital in Mullingar.

Vitor moved from Portugal to Longford over 17 years ago and was described as "a really amazing person" by locals who have set up a GoFundMe page to raise money to help with his medical bills and to cover his costs while he's off work.

It's already raised more than €3,500 in just ten days and Maria Phillips, the woman behind the fundraiser, told about why everyone is so determined to help Mr Vieira.

She said: "He's a really amazing person, he's a very hard  worker.

"I remember the first day he moved to Longford he searched every building site until he got a job, he's just a fantastic person.

"Everybody loves him and we said we would do something to help because he can't work at the moment, it'll also help with his medical bills, any future treatment and if he needs counselling or anything.

"He's also going to need skin grafts and more surgery."

She continued to say about the attack: "He was out for a few drinks on St Patrick's Day with his friends and he was going home when he was assaulted by three people with knives.

"His face was completely cut and he's needed stitches, he lost a lot of blood.

"He has a few injuries to his body, he bled into his lungs and almost drowned.

"He was heavily sedated and asleep for about ten days after and has only just been released...

"It was bright out, it was still very early, he just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

"He's an extremely nice lad and it's shocking something like this could have happened to him."

Maria, 39, saidhe was discharged from hospital last week.

She explained: "He's gone away for a while and I don't know whether Longford will be a home to him again. He's so emotional, he's traumatised, this is the place where he's lived most of his life but he doesn't feel he can come back just yet."

The childcare assistant said that Vitor has been touched by the fundraising efforts.

Maria said: "Longford has got such bad press over the last few years but this shows the community spirit and how people are coming together.

"It was only set up last week but there's already over €3,500 and we've more fundraisers planned.

"He can't believe how people in Longford are pulling together, but there are good people who want to help.

"He's so well-liked and you can see that in the messages of support he's getting, it's unbelievable, it's really helping him."

A Garda spokesman said: "Gardai are investigating an assault on a male at 8.30pm on March 17 on New Street, Longford.

"Three males have been arrested in connection with the incident and have appeared before the courts. Investigations are ongoing."

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