Belfast Telegraph

My brother can’t bear to tell his girls he lost eye in horror attack

 

By Claire McNeilly

The sister of a devastated young father who lost an eye after a barbaric glass attack has revealed that her brother's children still don't know what happened to their father.

Adam Mairs (25), from Galgorm, near Ballymena, was standing outside a Belfast bar during a night out with friends when a man he didn't know "ran at him with a pint glass and viciously thrust it in his face".

The father-of-three was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital and underwent emergency surgery after the attack outside The Royal pub in Sandy Row, but unfortunately doctors were unable to save his right eye.

His sister, Jessica (29), said her only sibling was distraught after the attack, which also left him with a broken nose, cheekbone and eye socket, and he is having great difficulty coming to terms with being partially blind.

"You don't expect to lose an eye when you go out for a night with friends," she said.

"He's only 25. He has three wee daughters and he can't bring himself to tell them what has happened to him.

"Why would anyone do this to somebody? It has been a terrible shock for all of us. Initially, we didn't know how bad it was.

"It's horrendous. He's in so much pain. Our whole family is devastated - and angry, to be honest.

"We're really worried about how he's coping with this mentally. Sometimes it's as if the extent of his injuries hasn't really sunk in...but he currently has a glass eye and they're preparing him for an artificial eye."

The Co Antrim man had been out in Belfast on Saturday, May 26 with three friends before becoming the victim of what his sister described as a "totally unprovoked attack" in the early hours of Sunday.

Ms Mairs, a mum-of-two who lives in Ahoghill, said her brother - whose daughters are aged seven, five and one - had been in another bar, Lavery's, before moving on to The Royal.

She said their deeply traumatised parents - mother Ruth (55), a cleaner, and father Alastair (56), who works for the local council - were called to the hospital at around 4am, some time after the attack.

Jessica added: "Adam told me he was standing outside when some guy ran at him with a pint glass and put it in his eye. Then, while he was lying bleeding on the ground, the bar door opened and almost everyone inside it came out and started fighting with the people he was with. Nothing was said before their attackers struck.

"Adam was walking away with his head down along the road when the police found him and took him to A&E. He had emergency surgery and had to stay in hospital for four days. He only got out yesterday."

Jessica was horrified by her brother's injuries when she first saw them.

"We were there when the doctors told him he was going to lose his right eye. He didn't really take it in and I think he actually still hoped they would be able to save it," she said.

"But now that reality is hitting home he's concerned about his daughters seeing his injuries, so we're trying to give him all the support we can to get him through this awful time."

A PSNI spokeswoman said an investigation was under way.

"Police are investigating a report of an assault on a 25-year-old man in the early hours of, May 27," she said.

"Police are appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident or who has any information to contact them on 101 quoting reference 142 27/05/18."

Alternatively, anybody who knows anything about the incident can contact Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

Belfast Telegraph

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