herald

Tuesday 22 August 2017

Man loses teeth in street attack by school children

Jack Looney (52) who suffers from epilepsy and hepatitis photographed at his home in Nenagh. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22
Jack Looney (52) who suffers from epilepsy and hepatitis photographed at his home in Nenagh. Picture Liam Burke/Press 22

A man lost his teeth while trying to protect his mother's dog as it was being assaulted by secondary school students.

Jack Looney (52), from Nenagh, Co Tipperary, was attacked by a group of "four or five" males in school uniforms while out walking his mother's terrier on October 10.

His brother Donal said Jack was beaten and kicked after being knocked to the ground where he bravely cradled his mother's dog as he tried to save it from the violent onslaught.

Donal said that he fears Jack may never recover from the incident and is now too afraid to leave the house alone.

"Jack lives in a small flat and has been there for years.

"He doesn't drink at all and is about only eight stone in weight, 5ft 2inches in height and looks a lot older than he is."

The assault took place at approximately 4pm when children were leaving school.

"While he was on the ground he was kicked by these animals. He lost all of his teeth and has cuts on his head," he added.

kill

"All he can remember from the assault is that someone said 'stop, you'll kill him' and then they ran off. In my mind that is attempted murder. People have died from kicks to the head."

Jack was hospitalised after the incident. He is well known in the Tipperary town because of his routine of meeting his mother for dinner every day and taking her dog for walks in the evening. However, Donal thinks it will be a long time before Jack can return to his normal life.

"Now he won't walk to my mother's house on his own any more," said Donal.

The assault took place in front of students leaving school and boarding buses.

Local Councillor Seamus Morris said that he was horrified by the incident and appealed for witnesses or the culprits to come forward.

worried

"He is a fragile person and this type of abuse cannot be tolerated," he said. "There were plenty of people around at the time and I really would hope that somebody who saw this would come forward. We cannot have this kind of thing going on and I would be worried that it would happen again."

"He was attacked in the middle of the day in front of loads of witnesses so you would think someone would have come forward by now," said Donal.

Gardai are investigating the assault.

hnews@herald.ie

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