Wednesday 26 October 2016

'You won't be smiling when I gouge your eye out', tourist was told before bottle attack

Dafydd Hughes after the attack
Injury suffered by Dafydd Hughes after attack

THIS tourist was smashed over the head with a broken bottle, just as he was getting on a tour bus in the city with his family.

Dafydd Hughes (45) was in the country for less than two hours when he was left with horrific injuries after being attacked by a young man who threatened to "gouge" his eye out with a bottle.

The dad-of-two said the attack was completely unprovoked.

"We were only one hour and 50 minutes in Ireland when it happened. We were standing at a kerb waiting for a tour bus to come along," Mr Hughes told the Herald.


"A young man approached me with a bottle and said to me 'Why are you smiling? You won't be smiling when I gouge your eye out with this bottle'."

Mr Hughes, who lives in Cheltenham in England, said that he was concerned for the safety of his sons, Logan (11) and Joe (17), as well as his sister Sian, a doctor, and other relatives who were standing with him among a group of US and Canadian tourists at the bus stop.

The man continued to threaten Mr Hughes and his sister Sian attempted to reason with him. The man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs, he said.

A few more words were exchanged and the man threatened to "bottle" Mr Hughes in the face. A struggle ensued during which the assailant and the tourist fell to the ground.

The man broke the bottle and lunged at Mr Hughes, inflicting a nasty wound to his head.

"There was blood everywhere. I was bleeding heavily from the wound in my head. My son Joe tried to help me and the man then tried to punch Joe twice," he said.

A security man from a nearby business intervened and stopped the struggle and the gardai were called to the scene.

The attacker picked up his own shirt off the ground and left the scene. The victim's sister, Sian, who is a doctor working in Australia, tended to the wounds on her brother's head.

"Our family had just been talking about how friendly the Irish people are when this happened," Sian said.

"I had tried to calm the man down but he was asking my brother 'Do you want to see through just one eye?'".

The weekend attack happened in Dublin city centre. Gardai arrived at the scene and they later arrested one man in another location in the city.

"I should have gone to hospital for treatment but my sister tended to my wounds," said Mr Hughes. "I was able to go ahead with the bus tour for the sake of my children.

"My sister bought me a new t-shirt and threw away my blood-soaked shirt. She put a bandage on my head later.

"When I got on the bus, all the Americans and Canadian tourists, who were shocked, gave me a big cheer," he said.

He said a young woman and a man who had been in the company of the attacker before the incident approached him on the footpath as his sister tended to his wounds. The young woman told the tourist she was six months pregnant and that she "needed some money".

The couple then picked up a hat off the ground belonging to the attacker and walked off.

Mr Hughes said the attack did not make him change his mind that the Ireland is a very friendly place to visit.

"The gardai were very helpful and we really appreciate that," he said.

The family like to organise re-unions by taking a holiday together to a different country or location every year.

Seven members of the family visited the Guinness Hop Store the next day and they travelled on a sight-seeing trip to County Donegal.

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