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Saturday 23 September 2017

'I'm upset and angry', says mum whose son was attacked by teens

Keane Gallagher-Payton
Keane Gallagher-Payton

The mother of a 13-year-old boy who was airlifted to hospital after being attacked by two teenagers has spoken out about her son's terrifying ordeal.

Keane Gallagher-Payton, from Ennistymon, Co Clare, was assaulted by two boys aged 14 who are pupils at a different school in the town.

Speaking yesterday, Keane's mother Clare said he was "very lucky" that his injuries weren't more serious.

"It was a very difficult thing to go through for us all but hopefully Keane will be okay," she said.

Doctors say Keane will make a full recovery but Ms Gallagher is concerned about the impact it will have on him psychologically.

"I'm worried he may struggle in the coming weeks and months with his confidence and that he won't feel safe," she said.

When asked about the attackers, Ms Gallagher said: "I'm angry and upset about what they did to my son but I'm hoping it just got out of hand and they didn't actually intend on hurting him so much.

"I suppose that's what happens in a lot of these cases, but young ones in particular don't seem to think about how simple it can be to cause such potentially life-threatening injuries."

Awful

Keane was recently in the news for coming first in his age group at the Bebras Computational Thinking Challenge in Maynooth, which attracts entries from pupils across Ireland.

"I didn't expect him to be in the news again so soon, especially in these circumstances," Ms Gallagher said.

"We are hoping he will be released from hospital this evening if his stats remain stable. He has recovered well and has shown no other signs of seizing."

She said the two boys who assaulted him were known to Keane and would not be considered troublemakers, which made it all the more shocking.

The assault took place between 1.15pm and 2pm while the teenagers were on their school break.

It is believed Keane was knocked to the ground, resulting in him suffering a head injury.

After being assessed by paramedics, the decision was made to airlift him to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.

Ms Gallagher flew on the helicopter with him and admitted it was an awful experience, but is thankful he is on the mend.

"It was extremely frightening. We're lucky I suppose, it could have been much worse."

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