Parent calls for increased Garda presence in Cork suburb after attack on son

Parent calls for increased Garda presence in Cork suburb after attack on son

A concerned parent has called for an increased Garda presence on the streets in Ballincollig after a gang of teenagers attacked her son.

Sinead O'Brien says the problem of gangs in Ballincollig is growing after a group of 15 to 20 teenagers attacked her son (20) and his friend, who were returning home from the town centre around 8pm last Saturday evening.

Her son was beaten with a stick-type weapon that resembled an iron bar, and his friend was punched around the head three times. They received minor injuries, being bruised and bloodied by the attack.

"The guards came quickly enough and did their best but they told me straight out when we made the statement that there's only two of them following around 50 to 60 teens and they can't do anything. Basically, [they told me to] contact my local politicians," Sinead told Patricia Messinger on C103's Cork Today Show.

"I thought it was a serious thing to be told by guards. It wasn't a case of we'll do this, we'll do that. It was a case of we can't do anything.

"Ballincollig is a fantastic place to live but we need guards on the streets."

Her son had previously being punched in Cork city when he was younger and had to deal with panic attacks as a result of that incident.

Sinead believes Garda intervention with such gangs at a young age could offset future problems.

"Most of them are young and if they are caught now, and spoken to now, and even if they could see the impact of what they have done, the stupidness of it and the senselessness of it, and starting on a wrong road, that'd be just [the way to deal with it].

"That's why you need the presence of the guards."

She said her son would like to speak to his attackers personally.

"He told them all to calm themselves and he rang the guards himself. He said he'd like to speak to the young man and just have a chat with him.

"He said, 'Mom, I'm glad I didn't grow up having to go around like that'."

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