A dream trip to Ireland for his father in New York quickly turned into a nightmare after he was beaten and seriously injured by a group of teenagers in Dublin, the report said.
Buffalo resident Stephen Termini, 57, who worked odd jobs for a year to secure a trip to his family’s hometown, was the victim of a brutal attack near Store Street Garda station last Wednesday night, local RTE reported.
Police said the man was repeatedly beaten and kicked by a group of young people as he left his accommodation in the troubled area.
Termini’s family said he “could lose an eye and be disabled for life” as a result of the attack.
Termini’s son Mike Rizzuto said the attack was heartbreaking, remembering his father’s excitement about the trip to Ireland.
“The last time I spoke to him, he was doing odd jobs and saving a dime to go to Ireland,” Rizzuto told RTE. “He was talking about playing music in Ireland.
Termini, an artist and musician, is also a proud Irish-American and spoke about the importance of their heritage, adding that the trip was also a way for his father to honor his family.
“My father’s mother’s ashes were scattered in Ireland in 2002, but he couldn’t go there at the time. His grandfather was a mural painter in Ireland,” Rizzuto said. “I grew up with Irish heritage, which is very important to my father.”
Termini’s sister, Michelle, similarly said it was important for her brother, who lost his wife to illness last year, to visit his family’s hometown.
“He’s always dreamed of visiting Ireland. He was trying to track down our family from Dublin to the United States,” she wrote on her family’s GoFundMe.
Termini is still in intensive care at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital, and his family is trying to raise money for a trip to visit him.
Dublin police said one of the boys involved in the assault was arrested on Sunday and is scheduled to appear in children’s court on Thursday.
They have not released information about the minor and have not provided further comment on the other suspects.
Justice Minister Helen McEntee condemned the attack and called for an increased police presence at Store Street station after criticism from local business owners that attacks on Termini were not uncommon in the area.
“There is no excuse for street violence and those responsible will be brought to justice.” McEntee tweeted.