'deeply saddened' | 

Pit bull in horrific attack on Alejandro (9) was kept without housing body’s permission

Alejandro suffered significant injuries last Sunday afternoon and remains in hospital in Dublin

Amy MolloyIndependent.ie

A pit bull that attacked a nine-year-old boy was being kept in a house without the permission of housing body Tuath.

Pit bulls and nine other breeds of dog are banned from the Old Forge Road estate in Enniscorthy, Co Wexford.

Tenants are “strictly prohibited” from keeping 10 breeds, including English, American and Staffordshire bull terriers and rottweilers.

Tuath said in a statement it ws “shocked and deeply saddened” by the attack and had urged residents affected by the incident to contact support helplines.

It also confirmed the tenants had left the property where the dog had been kept.

“Tenants are strictly prohibited from keeping dogs that could be considered dangerous to themselves or to neighbours,” a spokesperson for the housing body said.

“We enforce on a zero-tolerance basis. A full list of prohibited dogs is set out in our tenancy agreement, which all tenants must sign.

“Dogs not permitted by Tuath are also covered in our pre-tenancy process.”

Tuath said it was liaising with the family of the young victim, Alejandro Miszan, and staff have been visiting the estate since the attack happened to offer support to residents.

“The property where the dog was kept without permission has been vacated,” Tuath said. “Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the boy’s family at this very traumatic and difficult time.”

Some children who witnessed the attack are receiving counselling.

The mother of one young girl who had her foot grabbed by the dog but escaped without injury after her shoe fell off said a number of children had begun therapy.

In an email to tenants, Tuath urged adults and children affected by the incident to contact the garda crime victims helpline.

Alejandro suffered significant injuries last Sunday afternoon.

He remains in a serious condition in Crumlin children’s hospital in Dublin.

His older brother, Raul, said he expected him to be there for up to a month and would need more surgery.

Alejandro lost his lower lip and had lumps bitten out of both cheeks in the attack.

A GoFundMe page set up to help raise money for the family has attracted more than €140,000 in donations.

In the wake of the attack, politicians have been calling for the laws on dangerous dogs to be reviewed.

At present, 10 breeds of dog must be muzzled when in public and kept on a lead by anyone over the age of 16.

Owners who fail to abide by the rules can be fined a maximum of €2,500 and face up to three months in jail.

Taoiseach Micheál Martin questioned the right to own breeds of dangerous dogs following the attack.

Alejandro Miszan and right, after attack

“I don’t understand why there’s a need to own such breeds, such dangerous breeds. I think we should go back to the drawing board,” he told the Dáil.

A man appeared in court on Wednesday charged with two counts of threatening to kill or cause serious harm arising out of an investigation into the pit bull attack.

Niall Byrne (27) was brought before Gorey District Court.

He was charged with two counts of threatening to kill unnamed persons following Sunday’s incident.

Mr Byrne, of Forgelands, Enniscorthy, Co Wexford, was also charged with dangerous driving and having no tax or insurance on November 4.

He was remanded in custody until Monday, when he will appear again via video link at Wexford District Court.

Gardaí have taken statements from residents and carried out door-to-door inquiries.

A garda spokesperson said investigations were continuing.

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