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Wednesday 4 October 2023 Dublin: 15°C
Damien Tiernan/WLR FM
# Waterford
'He was in so much pain': Teenager moved to Cork hospital for treatment after chemical attack
Tega Agberhiere was one of three teenage boys attacked with a chemical in Waterford last Thursday.

LAST UPDATE | Apr 30th 2019, 1:54 PM

A TEENAGE BOY is being treated for serious injuries in a Cork hospital after a chemical was thrown on his face in Co Waterford. 

Gardaí are investigating the incident, in which a number of youths were involved in an altercation occurred at Earlscourt, Co Waterford last Thursday night at about 11pm.

Tega Agberhiere was one of three teenage boys attacked with a chemical in Waterford; his mother Christy told WLRFM last night that he was still in hospital receiving treatment for his injuries.

Today, he was moved to a Cork hospital due to the severity of his injuries, which are understood to be first-degree burns.

Tega told WLRFM today that he was “getting better”, and that he was able to see a bit more every day. He said that after the incident he thought he would never be able to see again.

His mother told the local radio station that Tega and his friends were confronted by four people wearing ‘skeleton’ masks on Thursday evening. One of the four was holding a golf club, Tega’s mother said, and another was holding a bottle with a liquid in it. He splashed it on the three teenagers, hitting Tega in the face.

“It was like an acid burning his face, and they ran away,” his mother said.

She said that the neighbours rang the guards. They went to a nearby garage where a sales attendant splashed water on Tega’s face. “The attendant said that this was beyond water,” Christy said, and he was then rushed to hospital by gardaí.

“He was in so much pain, it was terrible. He was in serious pain. But at least the guards took him to the hospital early or it would have been worse.”

The burns are first-degree burns, the good thing is that he was wearing contact lenses.

When asked was racism involved, Christy said “no, Tega is Irish as well.”

This is really unfair, it shouldn’t be happening to anybody. I don’t want it to happen to anyone else’s child, or anyone else.

Christy said the Gardaí had been very supportive of the family, and thanked them.

When asked by reporter Damien Tiernan how she felt when she heard the news, she said: “I felt like the whole world was on top of me. I feel angry.”

Initially when I was asking myself… they could have looked for me to pour the acid on me? Why my son? Why him? 

Tega has had trials with Crystal Palace and Tottenham, his mother said, and has played for Ireland for the under 15s and under 16s national football teams.

He’s a normal child, he started playing soccer when he was five years old.

Tega is due to do his Leaving Cert in June.

Second victim

Teenager Padraig Sullivan, who was also injured in the attack, and his father Mark have this afternoon spoken to RTÉ’s News at One about the incident. 

“I was having a cup of tea and Padraig came running in. It was like he was after running through a bomb fire. His face was  … pure pale, white and shock. It was like he was after seeing a ghost,” Mark said. 

Padraig suffered injuries to his thigh, calf and heal. He is going to need a skin graft on all three areas, his father said. 

The teenager detailed the pain of the attack on air. 

It was kind of like someone had a lighter constantly on my leg. It was just constantly burning and burning.

“After a while it was like my body kind of numbed it and then all the nerves, as we were told, were burnt and all that, so we couldn’t really feel anything after the doctors gave us the morphine,” Padraig said.

“We’re all starting to kind of get sore again now as they’re starting to heal.”

Padraig said he hasn’t been sleeping well since the incident. “It’s broken sleep constantly,” he said. 

Like Tega, Padraig is also due to do his Leaving Cert in June.

Over the next two weeks, the teenager will have to travel back and forth to the hospital for appointments before undergoing surgery. 

His father Mark said: “He’s doing his Leaving Cert in six weeks and he’s meant to be starting an apprenticeship in July and his hurling career … I hope it doesn’t interrupt everything.

Hopefully now we’ll get proper justice and that’ll be a bit of a pick up for him.  

“The whole of Ireland needs to know about this, it can’t be hush, hush.” 

Commenting on the attack, Minister for Justice Charlie Flanagan said: “I’m very worried about the situation in Waterford which I was told about this morning. I sought a full report.

“It seems to me that a criminal act has taken place, gardaí are investigating and I would urge anybody in Waterford, particularly  young people in Waterford to cooperate fully with An Garda Siochana.

“This type of behaviour is unacceptable in a civilised society.”

On Saturday, four male youths aged in their late teens were arrested and released without charge in relation to the incident. A file will be prepared for the Director for Public Prosecutions, Gardaí said today.

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 on 1800 666 111.

With reporting by Hayley Halpin

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