Stephen Termini advises Helen McEntee to increase garda patrols in city centre

US tourist seriously assaulted in Dublin spoke with Minister for Justice by phone on Monday after recovering from injuries

Stephen Termini, who was in a coma for several days after being assaulted in Dublin city centre in July, says he would like to become an Irish citizen and move to to the country permanently. Photograph: Jack Power

An American tourist who was seriously assaulted in Dublin city earlier this summer has said he gave Minister for Justice Helen McEntee “a few ideas” to think about during a phone call on Monday afternoon.

Stephen Termini (57), from Buffalo, New York, was in a coma for several days after being assaulted in Dublin city centre in July, but has since made a good recovery.

Mr Termini, who has left hospital and returned to stay in a guest house on Talbot Street, said he appreciated Ms McEntee taking the time to speak to him.

“I know she’s very busy and she has a lot to do on a daily basis. And I just have to say that I appreciate the fact that she actually reached out to me,” he told The Irish Times.

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“She took the time to call me and, you know, she asked me how I was doing... I gave her a few ideas maybe she might think about,” he said.

“I felt you know, like, she really cared... She spent a lot of time on the phone talking to me and hearing my things that I had to say and listening,” he said.

Speaking in The Celt pub on Talbot Street, Mr Termini said he would like to see more visible Garda patrols along busy city centre streets during the evenings.

While he felt he was “lucky to survive” his assault, he would not warn other US tourists off visiting Ireland. “I have no problem with this country. I love this country,” he said.

Mr Termini, whose great grandmother was originally from Westport, Co Mayo, said gardaí could “show a little more authority than they do” at present.

The tourist said he had been overwhelmed by the reaction of the Irish public to his assault and news of his recovery.

“If I’m standing on the street having a cigarette or I’m walking down the street somewhere, Irish people come up to me and want to shake my hand and [say] they feel sorry for what happened to me,” he said.

Mr Termini said he “loved” both Ireland and Dublin and would like to become an Irish citizen and live in the country permanently.

He said he was a huge fan of Irish traditional music and had been enjoying socialising in The Celt pub since leaving hospital. He added that next week he planned to travel to Killybegs, Co Donegal, to go fishing.

“America has its own stuff, but it doesn’t have any connection that I feel with me, like it does here,” he said.

A spokeswoman for Ms McEntee said the Minister was “happy to speak this afternoon with Stephen Termini”.

Ms McEntee “inquired after his health and wellbeing, and wished him well in his recovery from the injuries he sustained in the recent assault”, she said.

The pair discussed policing and safety in Dublin city, as well as Mr Termini’s Irish heritage and his plans to travel the country in the coming weeks, the spokeswoman said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is acting Europe Correspondent of The Irish Times