Liam Davin, the father of a fourteen year old autistic boy said his “heart is breaking” after an attack on his son by a group of teenagers who then posted footage of the ordeal online .
Speaking to 96FM, Mr Davin said that he learned of the incident when a young girl called to his home on Monday to warn him that footage of the attack was circulating on Facebook.
In the attack, the 14-year-old was force-fed twigs and made to expose himself. Footage of the attack was posted to facebook. (It has since been removed.) Liam Davin yesterday confirmed that he has reported the incident to the gardaí.
“I was quite shocked, I was quite stunned, because in the past when people have come and told me what has happened to him, it has been that they’ve called him names or thrown stones at him,” Mr Davin said.
“But this attack was just beyond anything that has happened in the past, or what we have heard has happened in the past.
“It was like being hit with a hammer, I just didn’t know what to think. It just makes your heart so heavy, it just hurts so much.”
Mr Davin said that he does not know his son’s attackers, but reported one name that has been linked with the abuse to the authorities.
“I think that they have to be dealt with. I think that they need to be dealt with severely. My son, the little bit of freedom that he did have, we have to take it away from him, we can’t let him out now. He can’t go down to the local shop, he can’t go down to the village anymore. His freedom has been taken away.
“We have always been worried about him going out, but equally it is heartbreaking to try and stop him.
“He needs to have his life too, he’s entitled to go and run around and hang out and stuff, but we have always been worried about it and made sure he didn’t stay out too late at night. And now the worst thing that could have happened has happened really.
“My heart is breaking. He’s done nothing wrong but he’s having something taken away from him and we have to take it away from him.
“It needs to be peppered with promises of other things, but we haven’t totally worked it out yet.
“It brings up a social question. How did we get here? What made these children act like that? What’s going on with them? What’s broken? What’s wrong that this is something that you consider entertainment and what brought you to that warped decision?”
Mr Davin said that questions should also be asked of the attackers’ parents.
“Have a look inside yourself and ask yourself how did my child, who grew up from an innocent baby, do something like this?”