Special needs man beaten by teenage gang in city park thrilled by day out on JCBs
A DISABLED man who was viciously attacked by a teenage gang is slowly building his confidence back up, his father has said.
Paul Deaton (31) was set upon by a gang in an unprovoked assault as he was watching a JCB carrying out work in Fairview Park last month.
His father Damien Deaton (65) said Paul is "slowly but surely" getting himself back together.
"He's still not leaving the area, but he stands on the corner at the end of our street and watches the busses pass," he said.
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"Hopefully he'll build up his confidence soon. He's going back to work. It took years to build him up to going out."
His father previously explained how his son - who has an intellectual disability - is hugely interested in JCBs as well different modes of public transport.
"He is fascinated with the Dart, Luas, diggers, even Dublin Bus. He would know the bus drivers very well, and would often jump on the bus and go for a drive just because he enjoys it so much," Mr Deaton said.
Yesterday, Paul was invited to ECI JCB Headquarters in Dublin, where he got to go on several pieces of machinery, including the 3CX Backhoe Loader as well as 86c Midi Excavator.
"Paul was chuffed in the JCBs," added Mr Deaton. "He got in to all the different types, a small digger and a JCB tractor.
"There was a guy in the JCB with him who instructed him what to do, and he was working the boom at the back that digs.
"He enjoyed it immensely. He was chuffed. They gave him a jacket, a polo shirt and a cap and some pens."
The family, including Paul's brother Brian (34), who also has special needs, have also been offered a holiday in Trabolgan, Cork, through a Lions Clubs which raised funds.
Paul was attacked by an unidentified teenage gang who threatened to set him on fire and recorded the incident as they carried out the sickening assault, leaving Paul with horrifying head injuries.
The shocking assault caused outcry among politicians and the public, with Damien Deaton describing his son's attackers as "cowards".
Lord Mayor Christy Burke echoed Mr Deaton's sentiments, describing the incident as "despicable".
"I hope anyone with any ounce of information will report it to the gardai," Mr Burke said.
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