Monday 18 February 2019

Teenage boy left in a coma after attack 'over a pair of shoes'

Gardai at the scene of the incident outside the Starbucks in Airside Retail Park in Swords, Co Dublin. Photo:Mick O'Neill.
Gardai at the scene of the incident outside the Starbucks in Airside Retail Park in Swords, Co Dublin. Photo:Mick O'Neill.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A Dublin teenager was in a critical condition last night after being attacked because of the shoes he was wearing, his heartbroken mother has said.

Adam McDonnell (17) was rushed to Beaumont Hospital in the early hours of Sunday morning after the incident outside the Starbucks café in Airside Retail Park, Swords, at around 1.30am.

It's understood he was with a group of friends when there was some sort of pre-arranged meeting with another group of teenagers to sort out a disagreement.

At some point, Adam was struck and fell to the ground, hitting his head off the path.

"Adam is very interested in fashion, and he has been slagged about it. This is all over a pair of shoes," said his heartbroken mother Aileen.

"Clothes mean more to him than just looking well. He had an interview last week in Griffith College to do a course in fashion design. It's just his thing.

"Adam is not a violent person, and people were picking on him and antagonising him about his clothes and shoes.

"They would torment him, and it seems they said that if he didn't show up they would call him names.

"Adam isn't a fighter. He doesn't look for trouble. He works part time in T1 [Terminal One] in the airport and spends his money on clothes and shoes rather than drink.

"He's a quiet lad and well liked, and some people are jealous of that and bully him," she added.

Adam lives in Donabate and did his Leaving Cert at Coláiste Choilm in Swords this year.

He is in an induced coma in hospital after surgery to have parts of his skull removed temporarily to reduce pressure on his brain.

"This could be a murder inquiry yet, we just don't know," Aileen said.

"He's in a coma and we don't know if he will come out of it, or how he will be if he comes out of it. If he survives, we don't know if he'll ever be the same again.

"We just hope his age and his health go in his favour. I wouldn't wish this on anyone."

Gardaí confirmed that officers attended an incident at Airside Retail Park on Sunday at approximately 1.30am.

"A teenage male was allegedly assaulted by another male and was seriously injured in the assault.

"He was taken to Beaumont Hospital. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing," they added.

Gardaí are appealing for witnesses and in the process of collecting CCTV images from the vicinity of the incident.

There would have been a lot of people in the area at the time who may have been socialising or heading home after a night out.

"We hope that anyone in the area at the time, or taxi drivers who were collecting or dropping fares and who may have seen something, would get in touch," a Garda source said.

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