Teenager in serious condition after ‘unprovoked attack’ in Tipperary
Family keeping vigil by bedside as friend describes him as ‘a lovely kid’
A 14-year-old boy is in a critical condition in hospital after being severely beaten in an “unprovoked attack” and left on the side of the road on Thursday night.
The teenager suffered serious head injuries in the incident which happened in Tipperary Town at about 10.50pm. Emergency services attended the scene and the boy was taken to South Tipperary General Hospital in Clonmel for treatment.
Gardaí said on Friday that he was in a “critical” condition. His family are keeping a vigil by his bedside.
The incident occurred in the Lakeland area of Tipperary, close to the Rosanna Road and within metres of St Ailbe’s Secondary School where the victim is a pupil.
It is understood that the teenager was out walking when he was set upon by a local youth and badly beaten, sustaining serious head injuries.
Some people in a nearby housing estate, St Ailbe’s Drive in the Three Drives district of Tipperary, were alerted to what happened and found the 14-year-old unconscious the side of the road.
There were reports on Friday that the teenager was previously assaulted in recent months but gardaí said that this was not reported at the time and only came to light in the aftermath of Thursday night’s attack.
“All incidents are being investigated concerning both parties,” a Garda involved in the investigation said.
The emergency services were immediately alerted when the victim was found and it is understood CPR was administered to him at the scene, before he was taken to hospital by ambulance.
Gardaí arrested a teenager, believed to be 17, on Thursday night in relation to the assault and he was being questioned on Friday under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Tipperary Town Garda station. He can be held for 12 hours although this period can be extended to 24 hours.
‘A lovely kid’
“I just heard that he was walking home and was just attacked,” the victim’s friend said on Friday. “He’s a lovely kid, he wouldn’t have done anything bad. He’d never start a fight. He’s lovely, just a quiet fella. If you hit him, he’d be trying to sort it out.”
She said the teenager got “a bad beating” in the attack, which left his head badly swollen.
“I didn’t find out about what happened until this morning. I woke up and saw the [Garda] tape and stuff, my Mam texted me.”
She said everyone in the area is “shocked” by what happened.
A local man described the boy’s father as “ a lovely man, working hard all his life.”
Two young men walking near the scene said the teenager is “an innocent man” who “wouldn’t hurt a fly” and didn’t deserve what happened. “It’s terrible,” one of them said.
A man living in nearby Connolly Park said the 14-year-old is “a lovely young fella” who would often be out walking. “It’s very quiet around here. This is like something that you’d see in Dublin, on the television or something. We wouldn’t normally see anything like that here.”
The scene of the assault was sealed off by gardaí throughout Friday, with a blue tarpaulin covering the section of the footpath in Lakeland where the victim was found injured. A forensic examination was carried out at the scene by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.
Local gardaí carried out door-to-door inquiries throughout the day and also spoke to people walking in the area, which is close to schools and St Michael’s Football Club.
Det Insp Patrick O’Callaghan confirmed that gardaí are investigating an “unprovoked attack” and said there was no fight going on at the time.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone who was in the Lakelands/Roseanna Road area between 10pm and 11pm and who might have witnessed anything suspicious to contact them on 062-51212.