Brutal assault | 

Boys arrested over Navan horror attack given security advice by gardaí

All five were arrested on Friday, May 19, before being released without charge after they were questioned by specialist officers about their roles in the attack last week.

People gathered in Navan at the weekend for a solidarity rally. Photo: Steve Humphreys

A still from the video

A Rally Against Hate march through Navan town on Saturday in a show of solidarity with the teenager who was attacked. Photo: Steve Humphreys

Ken Foy and Ali Bracken

The five boys arrested for their involvement in a shocking assault on a 14-year-old schoolboy in Navan have been given detailed personal security advice by gardaí after receiving abuse and threats online.

Senior sources said the advice included a recommendation that the male juveniles “get off social media for at least a number of months”.

All five were arrested on Friday, May 19, before being released without charge after they were questioned by specialist officers about their roles in the attack last week.

It was videoed, went viral online and ended up making international news headlines.

“Investigating gardaí are aware of the volume of abuse and threats made against these boys once that video went viral last Wednesday,” a senior source told

A still from the video

“On this basis they were given detailed security advice and told to not be looking at social media, with their own mental health welfare considered to be a big factor in this recommendation because of what is being said about them and the volume of it.

“There have been threats, but this is not a case like a gangland case where those threats mean an imminent threat to life, where a person would be best advised moving out of their home.

“The risk assessment is far lower than that that, but at the same time it was deemed that the boys did get proper security advice,” the source added.

It has also emerged that one of the main lines in the investigation is that the origin of the brutal assault was a row on Snapchat that started over comments one of boys involved in the assault had made about a female relative of the assault victim.

'Rally against Hate' protest attracts huge crowds in Navan

It was also confirmed last night that the parents of all the boys who were arrested last week had “fully co-operated” with the garda investigation.

“The reality is that the parents could not have been more helpful in circumstances where their children have made national headlines for all the wrong reasons,” the senior source said.

As first disclosed by last week, the majority of the arrested boys are expected to avoid a criminal charge and instead be given a caution under the Juvenile Diversion Programme.

“Most likely this will be the situation for all the male juveniles who will then have to interact with Garda Juvenile Liaison Officers (JLOs) who work with children who have committed offences,” a source pointed out.

The video of the assault, which caused political outrage and shocked the nation, shows the 14-year-old boy walking out of school grounds at Beaufort College in Navan pursued by a group of other students.

One student punches the boy in the head, which emboldens others to attack him from behind. The boy tries to get away but falls to the ground where he is repeatedly kicked, punched and stamped on by up to five other students as he tries to crawl to safety.

The incident is being investigated as a hate crime.

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