Saturday 25 May 2019

Football fan left scarred following brutal attack at Ireland's international friendly

"I have a massively swollen eye and will have for a few months and I will also have of scar"
Conor McCrave

Conor McCrave

A Northern Ireland football fan has told how he was viciously attacked by hooded men while on his way to the Irish International friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday night.

Andrew Meeke (29) from Dundonald, Co Down was travelling along the Shelbourne Road with friends before the match when he set upon by three hooded men.

“We were walking down the Shelbourne road after being in a pub nearby where we had been sitting with Irish supporters and just having a couple of pints,” he said.

“I was at the front of the group as we walked down the road and the next thing I know I’m stumbling on the pavement and scraping my face off it.

“I didn’t see anything. I think they hit me from the side because I did not see anyone looking towards me or trying to hurt me.

“The group we were with caught up with us and explained they seen three people covered up walking straight towards us in the hoodies.”

The football supporter wasn’t the only victim of the attack as brother-in-law Richard Rooney (26) and another friend had also set upon by the gang.

“Two of them went for me and Richard but then they went for one of the other boys with us,” he said. 

“We were all in good spirits and we were on the way down to the game so no one was paying any attention. I wasn’t looking when I was hit,” he added.

The morning after the incident Dave attended A&E for his injuries before calling into Donnybrook Garda station to make a statement.

“When I went to A&E they told me they didn’t break any bones.

“My brother-in-law has two kids and it didn’t look too good for him coming home with that to them. He was hit in the face by them too."

At the scene of the incident the injured supporters were treated by medics at the scene but he said the incident did not stop him from attending the game he had travelled down for.

“We missed the first couple of minutes of it but I watched the match. I got myself patched up and I went in.

“I had a good time down there and that was really unfortunate that it happened. But I love football and I love watching it so it wasn’t going to stop me and I would go down again.

“It doesn’t matter what side you’re on. I don’t know who those guys were and I don’t know if they are.

“I wasn’t intimidating anyone and it was unprovoked. I would go again because they aren’t going to scare me off.

“I went into Donnybrook station and I gave a mini statement and they took my details but I haven’t heard anything.”

A Garda spokesperson said they were not aware of any incidents on the Shelbourne Road at this time.

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