Kilcoyne explained that the youth’s father informed him that his son was being continuously intimidated by a pair of teenage twins who wait outside the school gates to bully and assault him. The twins have allegedly threatened to stab the victim, and the boy’s father now has to collect and drop off his son at the school door.
A letter written by the boy’s doctor was read out to the JPC members which stated that the child is upset and unable to sleep. He also refuses medication to help him, because he “feels he needs to be on guard at all times.” The doctor also called for the local authority to deal with the matter.
“The twins were at the school with one on each side of the footpath. They are causing a major problem to this child. It is an awful situation, he is afraid to sleep in his own home. We have to do something about it. It can’t carry on like this,” Kilcoyne said.
The victim’s account of the bullying has been supported by his school’s vice principal Gerry King in a letter that was read out at the JPC meeting.
The twins are known around the Castlebar area. In the past they have been linked with anti-social behavior and are believed to have carried out random attacks on young people where money and mobile phones were taken.
Mayor of Castlebar Brendan Henaghan claimed the town was being held to ransom by the pair, while Councilor Frank Durcan said that in the past such blackguards would get the “leather injection” and it would soon stop it.
Garda patrols have been in operation around Davitt College in recent months. According to Councilor Thérèse Ruane, parents say the situation has improved but has not gone away.
-The Mayo News
Woman Fights for CP Awareness
A woman who suffers from a mild form of Cerebral Palsy has told of how she has been refused entry to some local nightspots eight times in the last two years because door staff thought she was drunk.
Rebecca Lovell called on those working in the hospitality trade, and door staff, to be given more disability awareness training.
As a result of her condition, Lovell often slurs her words and walks on the outside of her feet, symptoms she says people can mistake for being drunk.
“I usually try and explain to the door staff that I have Cerebral Palsy but they rarely want to listen. I have contacted pubs after incidents and they’ve apologized and organized free entry to the club only for the same thing to happen again,” she said. “I’m just fed up with it at this stage.”
During the latest incident, Lovell says she was told, “You’re too drunk, you can’t come in,” and she simply walked away.
The 22 year-old, who was awarded an honors psychology degree from Magee University last year, said, “I try not to let my condition affect or limit my lifestyle and social life. That is now being curtailed by door staff when I’m out trying to enjoy myself though.
“The thing is, the more you insist you are not drunk the more you sound like you are so you have to walk away.”
On the most recent occasion Lovell, who works with disabled children, had gone into town to meet work colleagues in a city center watering hole.
“I didn’t get in and despite telling the door staff I had Cerebral Palsy I was turned away,” she said.
It is an experience the Cornshell Fields woman fears is shared by others with similar conditions.
“This is the City of Culture 2013 but yet disabled people cannot go for a drink without being refused entry,” Lovell added.
Admitting that she can see where an issue might arise due to her particular symptoms, she said, “It is the attitude you are met with when you try and explain. I think pub and security staff should have to undergo some form of disability awareness training.”