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Bin the blade Soldier tells of horror stab attack in city pub as he calls for knife crime awareness

Ross Hayden was having a drink with his girlfriend in the north Dublin pub in June 2018 when he was attacked and repeatedly stabbed, including five times in the back.

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Ross Hayden

Ross Hayden

Ross Hayden

A serving member of the Defence Forces has spoken about his mission to educate young people about the dangers of knife crime after his own experience of being stabbed seven times in an altercation in a Dublin pub.

Ross Hayden was having a drink with his girlfriend in the north Dublin pub in June 2018 when he was attacked and repeatedly stabbed, including five times in the back.

Father-of-three Adam Dempsey (23) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in January 2021 to assault causing harm and was jailed for two years.

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 Adam Dempsey (23) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in January 2021 to assault causing harm.

Adam Dempsey (23) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in January 2021 to assault causing harm.

Adam Dempsey (23) pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in January 2021 to assault causing harm.

Speaking with Damien O’Reilly on RTE Radio 1, Ross described what happened.

“It will be three years in June since I was in a pub in Dublin with my then girlfriend and basically there was an altercation with a group of youths that were in the pub drinking as well.

“And the long and short of it is, I ended up getting stabbed seven times, five in the back, once in the stomach and once in the arm within that pub. And then obviously I had to be rushed to hospital.

“When we went in I was there with a couple of friends as well and the pub being in Dublin, there were these lads there who heard we were from Kildare and the whole culchie thing started. It started off as a joke at the start, it was just a bit of a laugh, but then every time they walked by they would say something.

“Eventually my girlfriend just said to one of the lads, to leave it out, every time you walk by you don't need to say something.

“There was a girl with them then that just stood up and basically attacked my girlfriend, grabbed her by the hair and pulled her to the ground.

“I went and took that girl off my girlfriend and removed her and then as that happened, I don't remember really because it happened so fast, but according to the CCTV and talking to the guards, the guy came around the back of me and stabbed me I think three or four times.

“The first time was in the stomach and then a couple of times in the back. He then went back around to his friends and I was still telling the crowd to leave and trying to get the girlfriend up off the ground when he came back again and he stabbed me a couple more times.

“When he hit me in the arm that was the one that I felt, it was like a punch. I was wearing a tee shirt and I saw all the blood and I remember turning around and seeing him standing there with a knife in his hand.”

A year after the incident Ross decided to make a video and posted it on Facebook to try and raise awareness with young people by sharing his experiences.

“I just wanted to try and raise awareness about knife crime in the country,” he explained.

“I want young people to really think about the seriousness of what their actions do and what they can do to someone if they take a knife out and they use it.

“I was one of the lucky ones, I didn’t die, but what I went through for the next year and a half after that was something I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy, as far as the mental health side of it and depression and anxiety and stuff like that.”

After Ross posted the video on Facebook about his experiences he said he got a huge reaction from mothers up and down the country who messaged him to say thanks for making it.

“They were saying they were going to show it to their sons. I didn't have an answer then. I didn't have a final result. In the first video I just spoke about how it affected me and the stuff I had to go through and deal with.

“But while I was over in Kosovo a few weeks ago, I got the news that the guy who did it to me had got jail.

“What that allows me to do and my hope is, in the future when I come back from overseas, is to go around the schools and talk to young people, lads and girls, and speak about my experiences and my story basically, how it affected me and how it ruined my life for the best part of a year and a half.

“And how it's ruined his life, like he's now gone to jail. I have a result now, which is an excellent thing for me as far as going forward and talking and telling my story and trying to raise awareness.

“The whole thing about this is, it’s not a poor me story,” Ross added. “It’s not about me, I don't want sympathy, but what I would like to do is to raise awareness for young people.”

“And even if it stops one person from carrying a knife or one person committing a crime then it'll be worth it in my eyes.”

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