Ukrainian teen injured in assault

The family of a teenage boy injured in an assault in Westmeath have said they believe he was targeted because he is Ukrainian.

The 14 year old sustained a broken jaw in the attack on Harbour St, Mullingar, and had to undergo an operation in Dublin, while the 15-year old girl who was with him, while uninjured, was left “scared and shaken”.

Since the family went public over the attack, others have claimed that there is a group of teens in town that is terrorising and threatening other young people.

The incident which left the 14-year old Ukrainian requiring surgery happened on Friday evening, close to Loreto school on Harbour Street.

According to a family member, the boy and the girl – who is also Ukrainian – were confronted at around 8.40pm, by “at least six” boys. Some of the group were Irish, and some are understood to have been either Latvian or Lithuanian. The family says that thanks to witnesses, they have been able to verify the identities of the attackers by finding their profiles on Facebook.

The youngsters claim that during the incidents, the assailants shouted things like "go home you Ukrainians" and "Putin is the king" .

After seeking medical help, the boy was transferred to St James' Hospital, where he underwent surgery. He is now back in Mullingar.

The family has vowed to seek action against his attackers through the courts and the boy's father has said on Facebook that it was “ludicrous” that having successfully fled the war, his son should be attacked in Ireland. The boy left Ukraine in April.

Mullingar Gardaí have confirmed this week that they are investigating an assault on a Ukrainian youth.

Meanwhile, since the attack, others have complained on Facebook over other attacks on teens.

One Ukrainian woman said her son and some other Ukrainian teenagers were confronted by a gang of around eight Irish teenagers in Mullingar Town Park.

“There were eight of them and they just started beating two Ukrainian teenagers,” she said. “It all happened in the park in front of many people, the children asked for help, but no one helped. It was in the evening, but it was still light.”