Saturday 17 November 2018

'An extremely scary experience' - man attacked by group of youths carrying a knife and a bat

Niall shortly after he was attacked
Niall shortly after he was attacked
Kathy Armstrong

Kathy Armstrong

A gang of youths who were carrying a knife and a baseball bat launched a horrific attack on the Student Union President of Dublin City University, leaving him bleeding and bruised.

Niall Behan (23) said that he was walking the short distance from the campus to his home in Glasnevin when he was approached by the group, who tried to rob his phone.

Niall said he had to seek medical attention after the incident on October 17 and wants to use his story to help keep others safe.

He told "I was coming home from work, it's a journey that I've done countless times over the past five years and it was only around 6.30pm so it was still bright.

"I was approached by a group of five young lads, they asked me for my phone, one of them had a knife in his hand and I instinctively refused and put my phone back in my pocket.

"When I refused they began to throw punches at me until I was on the ground, another one was holding the end of a bat and gave me a dig in the face.

"I'd say it only lasted about a minute, I was just trying to back away and after they landed a few punches they ran off.

"It was an extremely scary experience."

Niall managed to get home to safety but his face was left swollen, bleeding and bruised.

He had to attend hospital for a check-up, where he had an x-ray on his cheek as doctors initially thought it was broken but it was actually just a bruising of the soft tissue.

He said: "I was completely shocked, I didn't really know what was happening after the attack, I was in a lot of pain and it's not something I'd like to relive.

"It was so out of the blue and I want to raise awareness.

"I was kind of engrossed in my phone, in my own world and next thing I knew I was being hassled."

DCU SU President Niall Behan wants to warn others

Niall, who is from Glasnevin, said that he is using his position in the Students' Union to try to keep others safe.

He said: "I think it's part of a growing issue and I want to raise awareness.

"I think these lads were only 16 or 17 and I don't know if they were even afraid about the possibility of the guards catching up with them.

"Since the attack we've sent around a Campus Watch booklet, in association with the community guard, Martin Lynch.

"We are urging people basically not to walk home by yourself, if you're coming home from a night out make sure you're with your friends or at get a taxi.

"We've also advertised a taxi app, Dash, where you don't actually have to have money, you can just upload an emergency fund in advance.

"Those kind of initiatives are our way to help raise awareness to hopefully keep others safe.

"I've heard from other people who have been attacked or had stuff thrown at them or their cars and I think we need to raise awareness about these kind of things."

A garda spokeswoman said: "We can confirm that an attack did occur 17th October 2017 involving a group of males, Investigations are ongoing."

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