A young man kicked in the head while on a night out in Belfast says he has been left too terrified to go back into the city.
Alan Irwin (23) and his sister Rebekah (19) were viciously attacked when they were caught up in an argument at a fast food outlet in Bradbury Place after enjoying a night out with friends on Wednesday, February 25.
Their enjoyable evening out came to an abrupt end in the early hours when a gang of young people, also waiting for food, became aggressive.
Rebekah stepped in to try to calm the situation - but ended up getting hit.
He explained: "Rebekah tried to split it up but one of the boys hit her, and that's when I got up."
Before Alan could defend his sister, the gang turned on him and he was knocked to the ground, rendering him unconscious.
He said: "Two or three fellas booted and kicked me in the face.
"I remember coming in and out of consciousness, but that's all. Once I got the first couple of kicks to the face it was all a blur.
"But I know I was attacked by two people, because there are two different footprints on my shirt."
Battered and bloody, Alan was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries.
"I had three stitches in my lip and I had to get a lot of X-rays done. I suffered a head trauma. I also had bruises round my eye, and pain in my ribs.
"Rebekah has a badly bruised arm, and marks on her face. She's got a bald patch from where they pulled the hair from her head. She's more shocked than I am."
The memory of the attack is still fresh in the minds of the pair.
"I'm not sleeping, my sister's the same. It's awful," he said.
"When I got home afterwards, my mum was horrified. The first thing she said was 'you'll not be going back to Belfast, if that's what happens'. It's not something I can forget. It's put me off going back into the city. I was meant to be going into Belfast the Saturday after that, and I just didn't want to.
"It's frightening to think you can go for a quiet drink and something like that happens."
Detectives are still investigating what happened.
Constable Mark Rutherford said: "Police arrested two men aged 20 and 24 following an assault in a fast food outlet in the Bradbury Place area of Belfast in the early hours of Thursday, February 26. Both arrested men were later released on bail pending further inquiries."