herald

Saturday 18 August 2018

Cooper attack is a 'wake up call', says Dublin TD

Jonny Cooper
Jonny Cooper

THE brutal stabbing attack on Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper is a "wake-up call" about the extent of knife crime in the capital.

Former minister and Dublin Central TD Joe Costello condemned the unprovoked attack on a city street in the early hours of Saturday as "intolerable".

"It's terrible to think that anything like that could happen in the capital," Mr Costello said.

County-footballer Cooper (24) was stabbed multiple times on Dorset Street. He was brutally slashed in the face and neck.

randomly

"To think an innocent person going about their business could be randomly attacked and viciously assaulted to the point where they could have died is intolerable," Mr Costello said.

"It is a wake up call to gardai and authorities. Whatever measures are required to allow people go about their business and enjoy a day or night's entertainment is the priority."

Meanwhile, Dublin Lord Mayor Christy Burke said: "I call on anyone with information to give it to the gardai."

Meanwhile, it emerged that Cooper was hampered in running from his attacker because of a leg injury. The injury had prevented him from playing with his club Na Fianna on Friday night.

The inter-county defender was making his way home from a night out at about 5am when he was approached by the robber, who demanded his wallet.

"He knew someone was following him," a GAA source told the Herald. "So he decided to sit down on a step to let whoever was behind him to pass him out and then he got attacked."

As Mr Cooper stopped at some steps, the robber came over and repeatedly stabbed him in the left side of his neck, face and shoulder. The robber then rifles through Cooper's jeans pockets before running off and turning into Eccles Street.

There is CCTV footage of the incident.

Mr Cooper was helped by a passing taxi driver who spotted him lying on the ground.

He was rushed to the Mater Hospital and was released on Saturday afternoon.

"He was stabbed quite a number of times about the head and neck," the player's father Brendan said.

"Another centimetre to the left and his eye could have gone, his ear is all cut up, his neck is destroyed. He tried to protect himself, but the guy just didn't stop.

"It's just one of those things: he was in the wrong place at the wrong time."

A garda spokesman said that no arrests have yet been made.

jfegan@herald.ie

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