By Ronny Reyes
A New York dad’s dream trip to Ireland quickly transformed into a nightmare when he was left seriously injured after being pummeled by a group of teens in Dublin, a report said.
Stephen Termini, 57, of Buffalo, worked odd jobs for a year in order to secure a trip to his family’s homeland — but found himself the victim of a brutal attack near the Store Street garda station last Wednesday night, local RTE reports.
Police said the man was beaten and kicked repeatedly by a group of youths just as he left his accommodations in the troubled neighborhood.
Termini may “lose one of his eyes and suffer lifelong disability” as a result of the attack, his family said.
Termini’s son, Mike Rizzuto, said he was heartbroken over the attack, as he remembered his father being over the moon about his trip to Ireland.
“Last time I spoke to him he was saving up every penny, doing odd jobs to get over to Ireland,” Rizzuto told RTE. “He was talking about playing music in Ireland. That’s where he wanted to be so it really sucks what happened to him.”
He added that Termini, an artist and musician, is a proud Irish-American who also spoke about the importance of their heritage and that the trip also served as a way for the dad to honor his family.
“My dad’s mother’s ashes were spread in Ireland in 2002, and he was unable to make it there at the time. His grandfather used to paint murals in Ireland,” Rizzuto said. “I’ve been raised with Irish heritage which is very important to my dad.”
Termini’s sister, Michelle, echoed that visiting their family’s homeland was important to her brother after he lost his wife last year to illness.
“He had always dreamed of visiting Ireland. He was trying to trace our family that emigrated to the US from Dublin,” she wrote on the family’s GoFundMe.
Termini remains in intensive care at Dublin’s Beaumont Hospital as his family tries to fundraise for a trip to visit him.
Dublin police said one of the juveniles who allegedly took part in the beating was arrested Sunday and is set to appear in Children’s Court on Thursday.
They did not release information about the minor or provide further comments about the other alleged suspects.
Minister for Justice Helen McEntee condemned the attack and has called on more police presence at the Store Street station following local business owner’s criticisms that the assault against Termini was not uncommon in the area.
“There is no excuse for violence on our streets and those responsible will be brought to justice,” McEntee tweeted.