A REPUBLIC of Ireland youth international is in hospital with severe burns after a corrosive substance was thrown in his face in a horror acid attack.
Talented footballer Tega Agberhiere was one of three victims targeted in the horror attack in the Earlscourt housing estate in Waterford city at around 11pm last Thursday night.
It is understood the three boys, all aged 17, were attacked by a gang of youths in an altercation.
Doctors at University Hospital Waterford have been working to save Tega’s sight since he was hospitalised on Thursday night and he was transferred to Cork University Hospital on this morning.
Providing an update on his condition this morning, his mother Christy told Damien Tiernan of WLRFM’s Deise Today programme: “He’s getting better but still in hospital.
“It’s a good thing he was wearing contact lenses, the inflammation was so much, the eyes are closed.”
She claimed that two of the people who committed the assault were wearing Scream-type masks and one had a golf club.
Gardai have arrested four youths in connection with the alleged assault.
A garda spokesperson said this morning: “Four youths have been arrested by Gardaí investigating alleged incidents of assault and violent disorder in Waterford City on Thursday 25th April, 2019.
“At approximately 11pm a number of youths were involved in a serious altercation at Earlscourt, Waterford. It’s understood a corrosive substance was used in the incident. Three of youths required medical attention for burns and were taken to University Hospital Waterford Hospital for treatment.
“On the 27/4/2019 four youths, all male and aged in their late teens, were arrested by investigating Gardaí. They were detained for questioning under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984 at Waterford Garda Station and later released without charge. A file will be prepared for the Director for Public Prosecutions.
“Gardaí are appealing for witnesses and are particularly appealing to anyone who was in the Earlscourt area of Waterford at the time of the incident to come forward. Anyone with information is asked to contact Waterford Garda Station on 051 – 305300 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.”
Agberhiere, who currently plays for Waterford FC under 17s, suffered burns to his face during the incident.
Christy said her son should be in school and not receiving medical care.
She told Morning Ireland on RTE Radio 1: “We’ve been in the hospital since Thursday, he’s been receiving treatment, they are trying their best.
“They’re doing everything for him to get well and recover fully.
“He got burns on his face. I’m angry, I’m not happy about the whole thing because it should not happen to anybody. Not even my son, not anybody’s son.
“It shouldn’t happen because it has affected the community as a whole. I am the mother and I am not happy about it at all because he’s supposed to be at school not going to Cork (hospital).
“It’s uncalled for, it’s unreal, it’s really shocking. I am in shock, I am still in shock.
“Even an adult would be emotionally down but all I have to do as a mother is lift his spirit and make him positive, that’s it.”
“Why my son? Why him?”
Another boy injured in the attack, Padraig Sullivan, who plays underage hurling for Waterford, sustained acid-type burns to his leg, causing nerve and tissue damage, and it could be weeks before he starts to recover. A third boy in the group sustained back injuries.
Padraig was treated at Cork University Hospital for burns to his thighs.
Click to read more