On the morning of Friday, May 19, Gardaí confirmed that three male juveniles have been arrested in connection with the violent assault on a teenager that took place earlier this week in Navan, Co Meath. Later in the day, it was reported that two further arrests had been made in relation to the case.
The assault on the teen reportedly occurred in a residential neighbourhood in the Navan area on Monday, May 15, and was carried out by a group of students wearing school uniforms, who also recorded the violence and later posted it on social media.
The attackers only ceased their assault when other students intervened and pushed them away. The 14-year-old was treated for “serious facial injuries” at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda and allegedly suffered a concussion, broken teeth and extensive bruising. Gardaí have deemed the assault to be a hate crime in their investigation.
Gardaí arrested three minors this morning and two others in the afternoon in connection with the attack in Navan, with the suspects currently being held at Garda stations in the Meath area. According to a statement released to the Irish Examiner, they were arrested for “alleged offences under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1999,” and detained “under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984”. Moreover, authorities confirmed that the Gardaí’s family liaison office is in contact with the victim’s relatives to support them at this time.
Because the suspects are minors, they are being questioned by specialist Gardaí. The three juveniles arrested this morning were released without changes, with Gardaí specifying that “a file will be referred in the first instance for consideration for admission to the Juvenile Diversion Programme in accordance with Part 4 of the Children Act, 2001”.
Speaking to RTÉ Radio’s Morning Ireland, Minister for Education Norma Foley said that the school is also providing support to the teenage victim of the attack and explained that the 14-year-old is expected to return to the institution in a few days. According to the Minister, the National Educational Psychological Services are currently working with the school “for whatever additional supports they might need”.
“Judgments will be made with and in consultation obviously with the family in terms of and the length of the school day for the young person and any additional guidance and counselling supports that might be required,” Minister Foley said. “Basically, it is going to be on a step-by-step basis for whatever the needs of the young person might be, that they will be appropriately met by the school.”
Gardaí are appealing to anyone who might have information on the attack to contact the Navan Garda Station to help with the ongoing investigation. They are also requesting that people refrain from sharing the video of the assault out of respect for the victim.
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