herald

Thursday 8 December 2016

CCTV to be given to gardai in bid to find Luas attack gang

Victim Simon Cleary was attacked after getting off the Luas at Tallaght
Victim Simon Cleary was attacked after getting off the Luas at Tallaght

Luas management are to supply gardai with CCTV footage as the investigation continues into a savage attack on a passenger at the weekend.

Simon Cleary (42), from Kingswood in Tallaght, was on his way home from the city centre when he was robbed in Belgard Square at 1am on Saturday.

He was punched to the ground and kicked by three men who stole his wallet and two mobile phones.

He needed stitches to his face and is currently recovering from his ordeal at home where he is being cared for by his family.

Gardai

Luas operator Transdev has said it is helping gardai with the matter.

"We are supplying them with CCTV to assist them with their investigation," said a spokeswoman.

"Unfortunately, anti-social behaviour is on the increase in Dublin and is not particular to Luas," she said, outlining the steps taken to address such behaviour.

This includes the recruitment of specialist rail security firm STT, which provides security on the whole Red Line from morning to last tram. The Green Line also has security from early evening to last tram.

"Bi-monthly meetings with representatives of the various garda districts along the Red and Green Lines are also held," said the spokeswoman.

"At these meetings, problems experienced are discussed and help and solutions sought.

"As a result of these meetings, we have seen an increase in garda response time to calls from the Luas control room.

"Plain clothes and uniformed gardai, from time to time, are present on the Red and Green Lines.

"Luas control room CCTV monitors are also connected to the Garda Traffic Control Room at Harcourt Square, allowing for greater visibility by gardai of all Luas stops," she added.

Simon's wife Patricia told the Herald that he was recovering from his ordeal.

Kicked

Tests showed there was no damage to metal plates he had inserted in his skull after a fall from a building site in Australia a few years ago.

Patricia explained the extent of Simon's injuries. "The three men kicked him in the head and face and punched him repeatedly.

"He was badly beaten up. He had a footprint on his face from being kicked so badly.

"I'm from Tallaght and it's generally safe but I just wanted to warn people that this kind of thing can happen," said Patricia.

"It's terrifying, he'll be left with scars now."

The latest attack near the Red Line Luas stop is not the first group assault on the line.

At the same stop on St Patrick's Day last year, two men were knocked to the ground and kicked in the head by three juvenile attackers after an exchange of words.

This spilled into the Luas terminal where the victims fell to the ground. The three youths then repeatedly kicked the men in the head and body.

On April 17 last year a man was waiting for the Luas at the City West stop when witnesses said two teenagers standing nearby shouted "get him" before they both started kicking and punching the man.

The victim tried to run away but was chased and then tripped and he fell onto the tracks where one of the attackers kicked the man in the head while he lay on the ground.

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