Gardaí investigating an assault on Alanna Quinn Idris (17) and another teenager in south Dublin believe arrests will be made in the coming days. Detectives have identified the chief suspects for the gang attack on Ballyfermot last Thursday, December 30th.
Garda sources said some of those suspected of involvement in the attack have been identified. They added evidence, including CCTV, had been gathered and arrests were anticipated in the very near future after some additional investigative work had been carried out.
Ms Quinn Idris and the teenage boy she was with have now both been discharged from the hospitals where they were being treated. However, the Quinn family told The Irish Times their daughter faces a long recovery and has been told it is likely she will lose the sight in her right eye, adding it may have to be removed.
The two teenagers were badly beaten by a group of youths armed with a hurley stick, saddle and seat-post and a knife, after they alighted a bus on Ballyfermot Road, close to Ballyfermot Civic Centre, at about 9.30pm last Thursday.
While the male teenager Ms Quinn Idris was with tried to protect her and a local man also intervened, the gang involved inflicted serious injuries. Ms Idris Quinn suffered a ruptured eyeball as well as broken bones in her cheek and eye socket and a broken tooth.
Her friend suffered knife wounds in the attack and both teenagers were taken to St James’s Hospital for treatment. Ms Quinn Idris was then transferred to the Dublin Eye and Ear Hospital, Dublin 2, where surgery was performed on her eye.
Both teenagers were discharged from hospital on Tuesday, when gardaí in Ballyfermot reiterated their appeal for witnesses, or anyone with video footage recorded in the area at the time, to come forward.
"An incident room has been established at Ballyfermot Garda station and significant progress has been made in the investigation to date," said a statement from Garda Headquarters, Phoenix Park, Dublin, on Tuesday.
The Irish Times understands a number of people at the scene can help solve the case as the teenagers involved in the attack are well known in the area and had previously bullied and harassed Ms Quinn Idris.
On the night of the attack, the two victims were on a bus from Liffey Valley shopping centre to Ballyfermot when they were targeted with verbal abuse by a male teenager. Gardaí are trying to establish if that teenager made phone calls to summon his friends to Ballyfermot Road as a number of males arrived there and the attack unfolded shortly after the victims got off the bus.
Gardaí said both victims were in their late teens and had “sustained serious injuries” in the course of the attack before being taken from hospital. The Garda statement added while the victims had been discharged from hospital, they would require ongoing treatment as outpatients.
Investigating gardaí appealed to anyone who was in the vicinity of Ballyfermot Road between about 9.15pm and 10pm last Thursday to come forward. They also wanted to hear from anyone recording video footage in the area, including drivers with dashcams.
The mother of the injured girl, Jamie Quinn, said her daughter became very upset when she saw the extent of her eye injury after a dressing was removed by medical staff as they examined it as they feared it was becoming infected.
“Alanna got to see her eyeball and that didn’t go well at all. She was really, really upset,” she said. “I think she was holding out hope, quietly and to herself, that she would see again. But after she saw the eye, she was saying she was never going to see again and that she was going to look so strange.
“The doctors were hopeful they could repair the eye to the point where it looked somewhat normal. If not, they would remove the eye and then we would go down the road of prosthesis. Alanna had the surgery last Friday morning, they were able to do a repair but the doctor told us she didn’t know if it would heal. She couldn’t give any guarantees.”
Ms Quinn added her daughter had been harassed and “tormented” since she about about 12 years old by a group of boys from Ballyfermot, who had verbally abused her and had at times thrown eggs and cans of drink at her. The family believes the attack last Thursday night represented the latest episode in that pattern of harassment and were very hopeful of early arrests.