Pensioner who was beaten and robbed after visiting wife's grave speaks of horror attack that left him with a damaged eye socket

Pensioner who was beaten and robbed after visiting wife's grave speaks of horror attack that left him with a damaged eye socket
John Wall who was assaulted in the Rochestown area on Saturday night.

A PENSIONER who was robbed and viciously assaulted after visiting his wife’s grave has spoken about the horrific incident that has left him with a damaged eye socket.

John Wall was set upon by a group of three young males and two females in the Rochestown area.

“They asked to use my phone, but I said I had no phone on me,” he said.

When he tried to continue his journey, Mr Wall was struck from behind by one of the gang members. He fell to the ground where some of them proceed to kick him in the head — breaking his glasses and damaging his eye socket.

John Wall who was assaulted in the Rochestown area on Saturday night.
John Wall who was assaulted in the Rochestown area on Saturday night.

“My vision was completely gone, I couldn’t see a thing.”

His son Jayson added: “They also took an engraved ring off him. It was a ring my mother had given to him when they first met.

“They took his wallet as well,” he added.

“If they had any decency at all, the tramps that did this, they’d give the ring back.” 

Calls have been made for a Community Policing Forum, increased garda presence and a neighbourhood watch in the area following a spate of incidents in recent days.

The assault on Mr Wall was just one of a number of incidents that have sparked unease in the Rochestown area.

A 17-year-old was also attacked on Saturday and suffered a number of injuries to his nose and chest.

Meanwhile, on Friday night, Bus Eireann suspended the 216 bus at Maryborough Hill due to anti-social behaviour, while another alleged assault on a teen is believed to have taken place at the entrance to the Mount Oval estate.

Local Councillor Mary Rose Desmond told The Echo this week that Douglas Garda station recently lost its community garda and a sergeant, while the station is only open sporadically.

Around 60 members of the local community and some from further afield met at Mount Oval Bar tonight to discuss their concerns.

Some criticised the lack of garda presence at the meeting.

Pensioner John Wall, aged 66, with his son Jayson, outside the community meeting in Mount Oval.
Pensioner John Wall, aged 66, with his son Jayson, outside the community meeting in Mount Oval.

The meeting heard incidents of antisocial behaviour, underage drinking and intimidation from teens in the locality and gangs from further afield.

One woman said her teenage daughter was afraid to walk to the shop just minutes away because of the intimidating behaviour of teenagers in the area.

While the group called for more gardaí in the locality as well as increased amenities for young people to help deter such behaviour, some also advocated for a neighbourhood watch group which would patrol areas during peak disturbance times.

Some pointed out that, with Junior Cert results night and Halloween just around the corner, the need for this group is urgent and steps have been taken to establish it.

Residents were also encouraged to join a WhatsApp group to report any antisocial behaviour to others in the area.

A committee is to be established by locals to assess their next steps as they seek engagement with gardaí.

A number of politicians attended the meeting.

Cork Senator Jerry Buttimer (FG) pointed to a new community policing strategy due to be rolled out in the coming weeks which could help in addressing some of the issues raised.

Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) added that the policy is aimed at being a roaming police force targeting areas where issues have occurred.

Cllr’s Deirdre Forde (FG) and Mary Rose Desmond (FF) said they had been in touch with gardaí with a view to getting a community garda installed in Douglas and Rochestown.

Cllr Kieran McCarthy (Ind) said that Rochestown deserves its own Community Policing Forum and a representative on the Joint Policing Committee in City Hall.

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