Mother's anger as teenage son brutally attacked by mob of youths on Bettystown Beach

The outraged mother of a teenager who was brutally attacked after being set up by a group of up to 100 youths on Bettystown Beach yesterday says that only for the intervention of two off duty Gardaí her son would be dead.

Tania O’Neill’s eighteen-year-old son who is due to start his leaving cert exams next Wednesday went for a walk with his pals to get a break from study when he was assaulted by a gang yesterday afternoon where he received multiple blows to the head.

Tania describes being "horrified" when the Colaiste Na Hinse student arrived home accompanied by his father “covered in blood” and his clothes “ripped to shreds.”

Distraught Tania who is a midwife in a local hospital says bystanders who watched on while her son was repeatedly assaulted “should be ashamed of themselves” and praised two off duty Gardaí and a local woman who selflessly stepped in to save the young man and his friend from the knife threatening frenzied mob.

Calls by people at the scene to the local Garda station went unanswered with some calls even directed to a garda station in Kildare nearly 100km away.

Tania has voiced her anger that no Gardaí were available to attend the scene with the area having no fully operational Garda station. She is calling for Laytown station to be reopened before another incident happens. Speaking on yesterday’s traumatic events, Tania said:

“He is bruised and battered but he is lucky he is not dead with the kick that he got to the head. He is a big lad and used to Play rugby for Boyne so only for that he would be dead.

“His head is huge, swollen and bruised as is his eye, face and jaw, he can’t even eat. His friend is worse, he got a rock to the head and his face is unrecognisable.

“Fully grown men would not help them, my son was screaming for help and one would help.

"The garda that was there had no help and did nothing to stop the mob

“I haven’t slept a wink, I just can’t believe it, it is disgusting.

“People know who these kids are, there is no accountability from the parents.”

Tania who is originally from Dublin and living in Mornington for the past 20 years with her husband and three children describes what happened in the horrific attack.

“My son and his pals who are a fabulous bunch were going for a walk on the beach to get a bit of air.

“There was a mob of teenagers from 13 to 17 drinking all day and after being told to leave the dunes scattered and came down onto the beach and ran straight into my son and his pals and just attacked them.

“They literally honed in on one lad and then my son was trying to get them off him and then he became the target.

“They booted him in the head, this carried on him trying to get up off the ground and them clipping his ankles to get him on the ground to start kicking him in the head again.

“A detective that we know who wasn’t working happened to be on the scene and grabbed somebody and another Gard that we know a friend of the family copped what was happening and he helped out.

“They were threatening anyone that helped with knives and when people there rang the gards they were diverted to Ashbourne miles away. Others rang and Ashbourne were busy and got diverted to Kildare.

“Ashbourne garda station is 33km from Bettystown, Kildare garda station is 98km from Bettystown.

“They didn’t come for ages and by the time they arrived they couldn’t arrest anyone. People had to barricade themselves around him and my son and his friend were brought into the back of a local supermarket and guarded because these animals were still after them.

“You can’t get any help here, there are no guards on the beat, the only time they have been here is during covid and asking locals for addresses. The numbers were here to have them posted left right and centre and when we need them there is no one around.

“The area is way too big and there has been too many incidents for no fully operating Garda Station.

“I am organising a socially distanced protest on Bettystown Beach over the weekend.

“I’m not stopping until I get that Garda Station opened.”

A spokesperson for Ashbourne Garda Station said they could not comment on the incident but that a policing plan was in place for the area for the bank holiday weekend.

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