A Mountmellick man aged in his fifties was left bleeding and in shock after he was set upon by a gang of youths outside a pub in the town last Sunday night.
It is understood that the man was going to the Mellick Inn pub on Patrick Street at around 11pm where a traditional music session was taking place.
As he was about to enter one of several young men standing outside asked him for a light But when he replied that he did not have one, he was attacked and punched in the face.
Badly injured, te eventually got inside the pub, where a call was made to alert the Gardaí.
“He was very shook up and bleeding,” his concerned relative told the Leinster Express, adding that the man went to his doctor the next day for treatment for his injuries.
There had been more trouble earlier in the day involving the group, according to a locals.
The same gang are alleged to have smashed the front door and windows of a house on College Avenue using rocks and sticks, terrifying a woman and child living next door.
A group were reported to have been sitting at Smiths Field bridge, a secluded area at the back of College Avenue, for much of the Sunday, drinking and intimidating passers by.
The attacked man’s relative, who did not wish to be named, wants more Gardaí to patrol Mountmellick at night to allow locals to socialise in safety.
“People are too afraid to report incidents and I can understand that.
“My concern is there aren’t enough Gardaí in the town, giving these people the opportunity to do this all day, and still be there at 11 at night to attack someone. There is nobody around to stop them.
“A couple of older men in the pub were even considering going out to them and take it into their own hands, it’s crazy. The Gardaí’s job is to uphold the town so ordinary citizens can go about their business. People are now afraid to go out,” the relative said.
With the annual Summerfest festival in the town this weekend, the chairperson of that committee has written to the Gardaí asking for extra garda presence, and is awaiting confirmation.
“We would like more Gardaí on the street this weekend to ensure everybody can attend our family street festival in comfort and safety,” said Mary Fallon.
Gardaí confirmed that they are investigating the report of an assault outside the Mellick Inn.