Ballyfermot community turns out in solidarity with teenage assault victim

‘Please God let this be the last time we have to gather like this,’ says local parish priest

Hundreds of local people lined the streets of Ballyfermot in support of a young woman who was seriously injured in an assault last month.

Alanna Quinn Idris (17) needed emergency eye surgery following the attack which occurred outside the Ballyfermot Civic Centre on the evening of December 30th.

People gathered outside the centre where the assault took place and then fanned out on both sides of the road. They carried handbills with the words “solidarity” and “support the family” on them.

They also wore lime green ribbons – the symbol of solidarity with those in mental distress.


Lydia Marshall, a youth justice worker with Foróige in the area, said the purpose of the demonstration was to show solidarity with all those affected and to support young people in Ballyfermot, west Dublin.

“Ballyfermot is an amazing community and we want people to know that there are about 5,000 young people here and they are all good young people,” she said.

“This is just one incident that happened . . . We wanted to show this moment of solidarity and silence with our young people and the family involved.

“It has been a display of the goodness that exists in our community and an amazing display.”

Ms Quinn Idris was left with severe facial injuries – including a ruptured eyeball, broken bones to her cheek and eye socket as well as broken teeth. A male friend she was with at the time was also assaulted and suffered knife injuries.

Cllr Daithí Doolan said support for the family showed the level of the shock involved.

“We want to make sure that young people in Ballyfermot can walk the streets in safety and to know that they are wanted and valued and supported in this wonderful community,” he added.

Cherry Orchard parish priest Fr Michael Murtagh said the gathering was to ask for violence on the streets locally to stop and to offer support to parents, schools and community leaders who are trying to keep children safe.

“We are doing our best. We don’t always get it right, but I think the strength of today give us all encouragement to go forward hoping and planning for a better future,” he told the crowd.

“We look forward to the time when we don’t have to gather on a Saturday morning for a reason like this. Please God let this be the last time we have to gather like this.”

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy

Ronan McGreevy is a news reporter with The Irish Times