A juvenile has been hospitalized after a shocking assault that has been widely condemned took place in Navan, Co Meath on Monday, May 15.
“Gardaí are investigating an assault which occurred in the Navan area of Co Meath on Monday, 15th May 2023 at approximately 2.30pm,” a spokesperson told IrishCentral on Wednesday, May 17.
“A male juvenile later attended Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda where he received treatment for serious facial injuries.
“An Garda Síochána is aware of a video circulating on social media of this incident and out of respect for the victim in this case we would request that people refrain from sharing this video.
“An Garda Síochána is appealing to any person with information on the assault to contact Navan Garda Station at 046 9079930.”
Earlier on Wednesday, a roughly 30-second video of the alleged assault in Navan circulated on social media, drawing millions of views.
The shocking video, which has prompted widespread condemnation, shows a teen being struck in the face by another teen and then attacked by more teens who knock him to the ground, punch him, and kick him.
At least one other teen attempted to break up the attack, but not before the victim was seriously injured.
Most of the teens in the video are wearing jackets that have been associated with Beaufort College Navan.
The Louth Meath Education and Training Board (LMETB), which is responsible for Beaufort College Navan, will not tolerate the incident, Independent Councillor Nick Killian, who is a member of the Board of LMETB, told LMFM on Wednesday.
“I obviously have to condemn, in the strongest possible way, that type of thuggery," Killian said.
“It has to be dealt with, quite expeditiously obviously, by the school and those that were involved in it will have to be brought to heel and will have to face whatever rigors the school put in place, be it suspensions or whatever,
“That is unacceptable and won’t be tolerated by the LMETB and won’t be tolerated by schools – not just the school in particular, but any schools around Co Meath or Co Louth.”
Elsewhere, Senator Mary Seery-Kearney, Fine Gael's Seanad Spokesperson on Children, raised the “absolutely disgusting and shocking” incident in the Seanad on Wednesday.
“The image of a young person crawling out from having been beaten up is just horrific," Seery Kearney said.
Acknowledging that a motive had yet to be established, the Dublin South-Central politician said: “It is really quite horrific that someone is filming this and egging it on and putting it on social media.”
She said in a further statement: “As legislators, the onus is also on us to ensure that our children are protected from all types of abuse, and we have seen the ugly side of social media with this – this needs to be stamped out urgently or our society will be in freefall for future generations."