RESIDENTS of a northside estate say they are afraid to let their children outside following a brutal attack that saw their neighbour doused in petrol and set alight.
Rebecca O’Shea spoke out about the brutal incident in Dunard Estate in Mayfield, which saw a 23-year-old father-of-three dragged from his bed and savagely beaten, before being doused with petrol and set alight. The men were armed with knives and iron bars during the attack, which took place at 4am yesterday. Two cars were later recovered and are being examined by gardaí.
“To have this on our doorstep is frightening,” Rebecca said. “I have a 12- and 15-year-old who are always out around the park. Now, I’m afraid to let them out at all. They have phones, but phones die. It’s getting even harder to protect our children. The real worrying will start when our kids are older and more vulnerable to crimes like this.”
Rebecca realised who the victim of the attack was after spotting a Garda car outside his home.
“I saw the gardaí at the house. That was when I realised it was him. My heart goes out to him. All of us have had our own troubles in the past but he will have to live with this for the rest of his life. It’s hard to wonder who would do something like this. The question now is where are the gardaí. These awful crimes aren’t just happening here, they are happening everywhere in Cork.”
She condemned the attack adding: “A crime like this is most people’s biggest fear. For this to happen to a dad of three young kids is both shocking and sad. There was no need for what was done to him. Even the worst in the world wouldn’t do something like this. There is nothing he could have done to deserve it.”
She said her heart went out to the young man who sustained life-changing injuries. “Just a few years ago he was a child flying around the park on his bike.”
Rebecca said the whole community will pull together to support the victim.
“We are sending out good thoughts. The whole road will be there for him when he gets out of hospital. He will get help no matter what.”
John Feighery, who also lives in the estate, said the overall mood in the area was very low.
“We are only a small tight-knit community with 52 houses. People are very shocked and the mood is very low. We never thought that anything like that could happen in such a small place. Naturally, people are beginning to get scared. Who wouldn’t be scared at a time like this? One of the questions we’re asking ourselves is who is going to be next?
“Moving is not an option for people, because they might never get a place again.”
He said that counselling should be prioritised for those living in the area.
“Right now I believe that a fund should be set aside so residents can avail of counselling after what has happened. That should be a priority.”
North East councillor, Ted Tynan, said the incident reiterated the need for community policing in the area.
“Before gardaí walked around in pairs,” he said. “When kids saw there was a uniformed presence in the area they knew there were consequences to their actions. That same system collapsed and now Garda resources are at rock bottom,” he said.
One woman, who wished to remain anonymous, said this has made her worried for her children.
“You are scared for your own children, especially when there is nothing being done. I have one very young child and I am worried about the world he is going to grow up in. There are so many awful things happening in Cork, but the criminals aren’t getting caught.”
She said it was a shock to wake up to gardaí and TV crews in the area
“We’ve never seen cameras here before. Now we are seeing our neighbours on the news. We just hope he’ll be alright,” she said of the victim. The people who did this deserve a life sentence but sentencing is nothing now.”
An incident room has been set up in Mayfield Garda Station and gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact them on 021 455 8510.