Homeless campaigner Fr Peter McVerry is recovering after being assaulted in “a minor incident” at his Dublin home, Independent.ie has learned.
eter McVerry Trust, the national housing and homeless charity, issued a statement in response to claims that its founder had been assaulted in a late-night attack in Ballymun.
Pat Doyle, the organisation’s chief executive, said: “In light of speculation locally and on foot of media queries, we can confirm that Peter was involved in a minor incident at his home in recent days.
“In the early hours of Wednesday morning, Fr Peter McVerry opened his door to an individual knocking for help. It soon became clear that the person was affected by drugs and alcohol.
“In the brief interaction that followed, Fr McVerry sustained minor injuries, leading to bruising on his face, particularly around one eye.
“After this brief engagement, the person left. Gardaí were not called,” the statement added.
Mr Doyle said on learning of the incident, he immediately visited Fr McVerry to offer support and administer first aid.
“We are issuing this statement to offer clarity on Peter’s wellbeing,” he said.
“He is recovering from his injuries, which were thankfully only superficial and did not result in hospitalisation or attendance at A&E.
“Peter McVerry Trust continues to offer every support to Peter. He is already back carrying out, and focusing on, his work to help vulnerable people impacted by homelessness and addiction.”
Mr Doyle said the individual involved “has since realised the impact of their actions” and apologised to Fr McVerry.
“Peter has stressed this is only the second time in 40 years that he has been assaulted and he does not want this minor incident to distract from the issue of homelessness and people impacted by it,” he added.
“There will be no garda involvement and Peter considers the matter closed. On behalf of Peter, we would appeal for the media and public to respect his privacy at this time.
“Neither Peter nor the charity will be commenting further on this matter.”
The garda press office said they had received no reports of the incident.