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Gardaí probe social media accounts after vicious gang attack that led to teenager losing finger

He was set upon by up to 20 people, gardaí said, in what was believed to be a planned attack.

Image: Debarchan Chatterjee via PA

GARDAÍ INVESTIGATING THE disfigurement of a teenage boy in north Dublin are trawling through social media accounts of the victim and his alleged attackers in a bid to identify the culprits, TheJournal.ie has learned. 

Officers from Clontarf Garda Station are probing the attack which saw an 18-year-old man lose an index finger.

He was set upon by up to twenty people, gardaí said, in what was believed to be a planned attack.

His finger has since been re-attached but he may not be able to use it again. 

The attack itself was filmed on Snapchat and distributed through a number of groups.

The video shows the victim covered in blood and lying on the ground holding his hands to his face to protect himself. At one point, he is hit with a weapon. None of the attackers’ faces can be seen in the video. 

Footage of the attack also made its way onto Twitter and Facebook. The weapon seen in the video is believed to be a metal bar which was later discovered by gardaí. A machete-style weapon was also used in the attack, gardaí believe.

It’s believed the attack may have been sparked by a row between two groups of teenagers from the area – with both groups posting inflammatory comments on social media to taunt each other. 

The incident occurred on Thorndale Walk in Artane in north Dublin – off the Malahide Road. Gardaí said that the attack happened in a laneway which runs between Thorndale Estate and St David’s Sports Grounds.

Gardaí said in their initial appeal last week that it is believed that up to 20 youths from the local surrounding area carried out the attack between 8pm and 9pm on Thursday evening, all of whom fled in the direction of the Rockfield Park area 

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Gardaí, at this stage, are gathering as much information as possible to build a case against the man’s attackers. CCTV footage from surrounding areas has been harvested which shows a large group of young people heading towards the Thorndale area in the minutes before the attack, sources say. 

A spokesperson said in last week’s appeal: “We appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity with any information about this attack, or persons who may have witnessed or heard any disturbances in this area to contact Gardaí.

“We wish to appeal to road-users with camera footage, or anyone who may have video footage of the incident from social media sources to come forward.

Members of the public are urged to contact Clontarf Garda station on 01-6664800 or the Garda Confidential line on 1800 66611.

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