A young man with learning difficulties and his brother were beaten by a group of males outside a cinema in Armagh this evening (Friday).
Sean and his brother, John McQuaid, had just finished watching the new Fast and the Furious movie when they were pounced upon by a group of 20 males, described by the victims, as foreign nationals.
The savage beating only came to an end when one young girl, who was nearby, phoned police.
Speaking to Armagh I, a family member said the young girl probably saved the boys from something much, much worse.
“The two of them went to cinema to watch new Fast and Furious movie, she explained. “John has Aspergers Syndrome. He has the mind of a 9-year-old.
“This cinema trip has been planned from Monday because John has to know where he’s going, it’s part of his routine, he has to know.
“The two of them were dropped down by their daddy, left to the cinema and away on in they went. These boys were already in the cinema. They were pushing and shoving at John because John would be blowing – stimming – he does that and you can tell he has difficulties.
“His brother Sean just turned around and tried to explain to them that he has a learning disability and he can’t help it and it’s best you don’t push around him.”
The two brothers watched the film and then exited the cinema onto Market Square at approximately 8pm.
“Whenever they came back out they were all standing outside waiting on them and they jumped Sean first,” the family explained.
“There were about 20 of them. John came over to try and get them all off Sean and they ended up attacking him too. They were Bulgarian-Romanian, Sean said.
“It’s an absolute disgrace that you can’t even go to the cinema with your brother in your own town – he can’t even go to the cinema with his brother! It’s an absolute disgrace!”
The family member added: “Only there was a young girl who rang the police, Sean would have been kicked and punched to death.”
The attack happened at the junction of Thomas Street and Scotch Street – the two boys cornered by the rear of Danske Bank.
Police are currently investigating the incident and are collecting CCTV from nearby premises.