'lucky' | 

Two held over race attack on ex-Dublin mayor Nial Ring and his son

‘The police have the CCTV and they saw one of them run at me with the chair and swing it down’

Nial Ring

Patrick O'ConnellSunday World

Police in London have arrested two men in connection with a racially motivated attack on former lord mayor of Dublin Nial Ring and his son.

Mr. Ring (63) and his son Emmet were attacked in the city on Tuesday evening after they had attended the Chelsea Borussia Dortmund Champions League clash.

During the sickening incident– which occurred in the lobby of a Premier Inn in the Chelsea/Fulham area, the Rings were called ‘Irish pigs’, punched and kicked and had a bottle thrown at the back of their heads.

Speaking with the Sunday World yesterday, Mr. Ring – who sustained cuts to his face and head during the sustained assault by four men – said he has since been informed by the police that two of the attackers have been arrested and are to be charged.

“The police told us they were charging the two lads they arrested,” Mr. Ring said.

“I was in the hospital until about 5 am the following morning.

“But the police said, in a way, we were lucky because in 50 per cent of incidents like this, a knife is produced.

“Honestly, I don’t think we had any real intention of doing anything about it until the police came back and said they were charging them because they literally tried to split my head open with a chair.

“At that stage, I took some pictures of my injuries in case they were needed as evidence.”

Asked whether he intends to give evidence against the attackers, Mr. Ring said: “Absolutely, I’d have no problem travelling over to give evidence.

“Not so much because of the one that hit me with the bottle, it’s because of the attempt to hit me with a chair.

“The police have the CCTV and they saw one of them run at me with the chair and swing it down.

“The police said he was either going for my head or my back but he missed because I moved at the last moment.

“I didn’t see that … but after I was told that my mind changed … because these lads need to get what they deserve.”

Describing the circumstances leading up to the attack, Mr. Ring said: “We walked into the lobby of the hotel, got a drink and sat down.

“Then, after my son went up to get us another, this guy started on him at the bar after hearing his accent.

“I heard him say: ‘You f**king Irish pigs. Why don’t you just f**k off.’ I said to myself: ‘Jesus, this is going to kick off.’ So, I went up to get Emmet … and they just started on us.

“Luckily enough, both myself and my son did boxing. So, we were able to protect ourselves to a fair extent. But I’m a numbers man, I did accounting, and when it’s four against two – your odds just aren’t great.

“If we were beside the door, we could have just run but because we were stuck in the corner, we had to get past them. There was four or five of them and they were raining down punches and we were trying to fight our way out.

“There were about 20 to 30 people just looking on, and that just struck me. Nobody came to our aid, it was extraordinary.”

Neil, who first revealed the details of the attack on RTE’s Liveline, said he had decided to go on the show because “I wanted to explain to people here in Ireland that attacks like this are the result of all the heated rhetoric targeting migrants.

“We don’t want that to become the norm here in Ireland … where someone can be sitting in a pub, minding their own business, and they get the crap beaten out of them because of their accent.

“I used to work in London in the 80s and you’d get that all the time … as soon as they’d hear the Irish accent, they’d come up to you.

“I remember after one of the bombings in London, this lad walked up to me and: ‘F**k you and f**k the IRA’ and then hit me in the face and then walked away.

“To be honest, I thought all of that was history.

“But if that can happen to me and my son, just standing in a hotel lobby in London, people should be aware it can also happen here.

“And we have too many people in this country trying to whip up fear and hatred against immigrants.”

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