‘I’m lucky to be alive’

A 17 year old youth from Lurgan who was stabbed with a screwdriver in Lisburn at the weekend. INLM0513-219.
A 17 year old youth from Lurgan who was stabbed with a screwdriver in Lisburn at the weekend. INLM0513-219.

A 17-year-old boy said he is lucky to be alive after he was viciously attacked with a screwdriver and baseball bat.

Daniel Duffy could be scarred for life after he was stabbed in the face and beaten in an unprovoked attack in Lurgan’s William Street on Saturday.

Daniel believes the attack was sectarian as the gang shouted ‘Up the UDA’ as they sped off in two cars.

And the teenager’s father John said it brought back terrible memories of his brother Anthony who was brutally beaten and murdered by the UVF in 1974.

Daniel had been standing with friends close to a car park in William Street and Charles Street when two cars pulled up at around 8.20pm on Saturday night.

He said two men jumped out of the cars.

“They grabbed me from behind and started stabbing me in the face. They were going for my neck but I put my head down and they stabbed me between the eyes,” said Daniel.

Another ran beside him and beat him with a baseball bat.

Daniel was taken to a nearby takeaway where staff called an ambulance and the police.

He was rushed to Craigavon Hospital.

The teenager had two stitches inside and ten outside his nose. “A nurse at the hospital said it was so close I could have lost my eye,” he said.

“I thought they were trying to kill me. I feel like I’m lucky to be alive,” he said.

Daniel’s father John said he had called his son shortly before the attack. When he heard what had happened he said he was horrified. “It brought bad memories back for me. My brother Anthony was murdered by the UVF. He was lifted at the old Whitehorse Inn and then taken to the Lough Road where he was badly beaten and shot in the head. I will never forget that day,” he said.

Daniel explained that he still has blood on his trainers and his nose remains badly cut and bruised. He added that he also has bruises on his body.

Police are appealing for information following the assault.

A PSNI spokesperson said: “Shortly after 8.20pm a 17 year old male was found in a local car park with a facial injury. It is believed that he had been assaulted by two men, one of whom was possibly armed with a screwdriver. The youth was taken to hospital for treatment to facial injuries.”

One attacker is described as aged 20, around 6ft tall, of stocky build and was wearing a red top. The second was aged about 18 years old, around 6ft tall, of thin build and wearing dark clothing. Police arrested a 20-year-old man a short time later, who has since been released on police bail, pending further inquiries.

Anyone with information is asked to contact police in Lurgan on 0845 600 8000 or anonymously contact the independent charity Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.