The brother of a man who suffers from severe epilepsy has offered a reward of £500 for the positive identification of two men who assaulted him on Abercorn Road last Monday night as he made his way from Mass at Long Tower Church.
Brendan Donnelly was making his way home to Maureen Avenue just after 8pm when he said hello to two men standing in an alleyway on the street. He said that one of the assailants then said ‘what did the f--k did you say’ and then punched him on the side of the head. As a result the victim fell over and stamped on his head. As he attempted to repeat his action the attacker stumbled backwards and that allowed Mr Donnelly to get to his feet and run the short distance home.
Police have confirmed that the attack on Mr Donnelly happened at around 8.25pm on February 15. A statement from the PSNI in Derry said: “The males are described as being in their late teens or early 20s. The man dis not sustain any serious injuries as a result of the assault. Anyone who witnessed the assault is asked to contact police at Strand Road on 101. Information can also be passed anonymously via Crimestoppers on 0800555111.”
Mr Donnelly developed chronic epilepsy after a childhood accident when he fell from a tree and has had a metal plate in his head since that time. He said that he had just been released from hospital a few days earlier having taken a cluster of around 20-30 seizures.
He told the ‘Journal’: “I don’t think there was any purpose to it. They were just looking for a fight, it could have been anyone but it’s just unfortunate it was me. I am not a fighter, in fact I have been always told by doctors not to get involved as it could cause me serious damage. Besides there was two of them and just one of me.”
From the brief recollection he has of the incident Brendan said that the man who attacked him was very thin and in his late teens or early 20s and was wearing a dark track suit whilst the other man was of similar age, small and stockily built and was wearing a light coloured track suit.
Brendan’s brother Pearse Donnelly took to social media to offer £500 in return for the identities of the assailants.
“My brother is just a decent young fella who would do anything for anybody. He is youth worker. He’s done things like travel to Kenya to help build schools for children there,” he said.
Pearse Donnelly wrote on Facebook: “This attack could have killed him literally stone dead. We want his attackers caught so we are putting up £500 reward anonymously for the person who gives us the real names of the attackers. Once my brother confirms the attackers I will meet you in a place of your choosing on my own to give you £500 cash. We just want them caught and held accountable for what they have inflicted on our brother. We will simply pass the names to the police to investigate.”