EXCLUSIVE: Families of Waterford acid attack victims hire Dublin lawyers as they step up fight for justice
The mother of one of the boys left with horrific life-changing injuries after the acid attack last year today revealed the families are being forced to look outside Waterford to continue their fight for justice.
They have also set up an online petition urging people to support their campaign for justice for their sons.
Last week the three families got confirmation two of the attackers will not be charged and instead be issued with a Gardai Juvenile Liaison Officer caution for a year.
Shirley Sullivan, the mother of 17-year-old Padraig Sullivan, one of three boys left with horrifying injuries following an unprovoked attack where they were beaten with golf clubs and chains and then sprayed with corrosive acid, said they cannot accept the decision of the Juvenile Director of Prosecution not to proceed with criminal charges.
Ms Sullivan told WaterfordNow.ie: “We feel we have been failed by the system. Our boys have been badly failed by the system. It felt that we were being told that was that, but we can’t accept that.
“We are having to go to Dublin to get solicitors to represent us. It all changed in December when the decision was made not to proceed with the charges.
“Tega’s mother has been talking to solicitors in Dublin. We are just waiting to be called up for a meeting and then explain our case and see if there is anything they can do from there.”
A petition has been set up on CHANGE.ORG campaigning for justice for Irish underage soccer player Tega Agberhiere, Oisin Daly and Waterford underage hurler Padraig Sullivan. The pals were set upon by a group of four teenagers at Earlscourt Estate on the Dunmore Road at around 11pm on April 28.
Launched just three days ago, the petition has already received over 1,250 signatures. The page is entitled “This is not my Ireland, please don’t let it be yours,” and is calling on Taoiseach Leo Varadkar or his successor to deliver justice for the three young men.
“The petition we are putting together is just trying to get the support of the public behind our campaign for justice,” Shirley said.
“When we get enough signatures on that petition, we are hoping we can bring it to government buildings.
“We feel the boys that got the one-year juvenile caution were not charged properly. Those boys were investigated for violent disorder – what those boys did to my son and his friends was not violent disorder, it was actual bodily harm.
“They have left these boys with scars for life. We feel they have not been charged properly for what they have done.
“When we sat down and talked with the representative from the DPPs office they told us they had made the right decision and the two boys should only get a JLO (Garda Juvenile Liaison Officer) for a year. After nine months that will be finished with that.
“A decision like that is not sending out a good message to people of Ireland. Which other mother and father in Ireland is going to have endure this in a few months time again, a child of theirs running into them burnt?” Shirley concluded.