‘He is only a child’: family of boy assaulted in Navan, Co Meath describe incident as ‘horrific and wrong’

The boy was hospitalised after the assault which left him with concussion, broken teeth and a shoe print on his forehead

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Photograph: Frank Miller  /	THE IRISH TIMES
Photograph: Frank Miller  /	THE IRISH TIMES

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The family of a schoolboy who was assaulted in Navan, Co Meath have described the incident as “horrific and wrong”.

The teenager suffered concussion, broken teeth, extensive bruising in the attack which left him with a shoe print on his forehead. The incident was filmed and shared online.

The young man was only yards away from a family member’s house to where he tried to crawl to safety as blows rained down on him by a group of teenagers.

One member of his family said: “No 14-year-old should be beaten like that for anything at all, especially because of who he is. He is only a child and it happened across the road from a family member, where he was trying to get to.


“We are shocked, horrified and upset at what can happen in this day and age. It was a number of people against one boy, while others filmed it and posted it online. That is horrific and wrong.”

They added that they hoped no other child “suffers like this.”

The victim attended Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where he received treatment for serious facial injuries.

Gardaí are appealing to those with information on the incident to contact Navan garda station.

The assault took place on Monday at around 2.30pm. In footage of the incident circulating on social media, a group of individuals can be seen striking the young male in the face before encircling him and continuing to kick and strike him as he lays on the ground.

“An Garda Síochána is aware of a video circulating on social media of this incident and out of respect for the victim in this case we would request that people refrain from sharing this video,” said a garda spokeswoman.

“An Garda Síochána is appealing to any person with information on the assault to contact Navan Garda Station at 046 9079930.”

Taoiseach Leo Varadkar earlier condemned the assault, describing the incident as “horrifying.”

“It looks to me like somebody was targeted because they’re different and they were humiliated and physically assaulted. I think everyone would condemn it utterly. I understand there is a Garda investigation underway and that the victim has been treated for their injuries,” Mr Varadkar said.

The Taoiseach issued a plea for anyone who has information to cooperate with the Garda investigation.

“I really want to send my solidarity to the young person who was harmed and injured in this way. I really to say to them that life does get better. It is very sad that people experience violence and bullying in school but life does get better, and not to give up.”

“I also just really want to say how sad I am that in this day and age that we still see this kind of bullying and violence happening in our schools. You’d hope that as time moves on, particularly with young people being so progressive and so clued in to the world around them, that this wouldn’t happen, but it still does and I really feel sorry for the young person and their family.”

The Louth and Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB) say that “significant disciplinary proceedings” have been initiated at school level.

“LMETB is aware of an alleged incident which occurred in Navan on Monday last,” said a spokesman for the school board. “The matter is one which I understand is currently under investigation by An Garda Síochána. Significant disciplinary procedures have been initiated at school level and we await the outcome of due process. LMETB can offer no further comment at this time.”

The school has been contacted for comment.

Mayor of Navan Edward Fennessy said the community was “in shock”.

“Those responsible for what can only be described as a hate crime, must be held accountable for their actions.

“No person, not least a child should be subjected to such savagery. We condemn it in the strongest possible terms.

“Our thoughts are with the victim and their family. Recovery is what’s important now. The best care the state has to offer must be made available to the child.”

“As the Mayor of Navan, I offer the support of the people and I ask that the family be given space during this difficult time,” he added.

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns

Nathan Johns is an Irish Times journalist

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray

Jennifer Bray is a Political Correspondent with The Irish Times