Friday 22 November 2019

Teenager (16) badly hurt in church attack

A TEENAGER and a sacristan remain in hospital after receiving horrific eye injuries at the hands of a deranged man.

The Romanian teen, who is believed to have been begging outside St Gabriel's Church, Clontarf, before the attack, was taken to Temple Street hospital on Sunday morning.

Locals described how the youth sought help in a Mace store on St Gabriel's Road with his female friend and her baby.

Sacristan Michael Dillon remains in the Mater Hospital where he underwent surgery after he was hit in the eye with the church's ciborium -- the metal bowls used to contain the Eucharist.

A parish source said: "Michael is still in hospital but he's doing well. He's had operations on his eye and he'll have to get new glasses."

Parish priest Fr Pat McManus, also received lesser injuries during the attack.

"Fr McManus is keeping going because I think if he stops, he'll start thinking about it. He has a bad gash on his head," added the source.


One parishioner said: "There was a young Romanian lad with a wife and baby outside the church and he was attacked rather badly before the attacker went into the church.

"He made it over to the Mace where they called the gardai and an ambulance and he was taken to the Mater with the others. However as it turned out he was only 16 he was transferred to Temple Street.

"Hopefully he's alright. He seemed to get attacked in his eyes like the rest of them. He was there with a young girl and a baby at the time."

The horrifying drama was captured on camera as part of the parish's new internet broadcasting service, and this is helping gardai in their enquiries, according to the source.

A garda spokesperson said: "A man in his 50s was apprehended a short distance from the scene at the time.

"We're not looking for anyone else in relation to it, and the investigations are at an advanced stage."


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