herald

Saturday 21 September 2019

Critically ill attack victim 'friendly and decent man', says local TD

Ciaran McErlean from Navan
Ciaran McErlean from Navan

A “friendly and warm” young man remains in a critical condition in hospital following a serious assault at the weekend.

Ciaran McErlean, from Navan in Co Meath, suffered serious head injuries in the early hours of Saturday morning.

The 21-year-old was left in a critical condition after the incident.

Emergency services were alerted to an incident on Watergate Street in Navan at around 3am on Saturday.

When gardai arrived at the scene, they discovered Mr McErlean lying injured on the ground. He was rushed to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Mr McErlean was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital in the capital, where he remains in a critical condition.

TD for Meath West Peadar Toibin, who is also a friend of the victim’s family, described Mr McErlean as a “warm” and “friendly” young man, while expressing his shock at the incident.

“I know the family and I know Ciaran, he is a lovely young fella and a very friendly, decent and very warm character, and it is just shocking to see this has happened,” Mr Toibin told the Herald.

The Aontu TD said that there had been a number of serious incidents in the county in recent months, and said that more Garda resources needed to be deployed to the area.

“There have been a number of very serious and brutal incidents in Meath over the last number of months,” he said.

Violence

“There has also been a large increase in sexual violence in the county over the last year.

“Meath has the lowest number of gardai per capita in the country, and there are many causes (of crime), but a major cause is the number of gardai in recent years.”

“This type of serious assault demands serious action,” Mr Toibin added.

He has also met with senior Garda management in recent times over the issue of resources, and called on garda numbers in the area to be increased.

As part of their investigation into the assault of Mr McErlean, local gardai arrested a 22-year-old man on Sunday.

He was detained under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act at Navan Garda Station.

After being quizzed for a number of hours, he was released without charge.

A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Gardai have spoken to a number of people who witnessed the incident on Saturday morning, but are appealing for more people to come forward.

Investigators are also following a definite line of inquiry into the assault.

Gardai are appealing for anyone who was in the Watergate Street area between 2.45am and 3.30am and who may have witnessed the assault, or any motorists who may have passed through Watergate Street around those times and have dashcam footage, to contact Navan Garda Station on 046-9036100, the Garda Confidential Line 18000 666 111, or any garda station.

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