THE MOTHER of a teenager who fell victim to an acid attack in Waterford last year says "the whole of my family has been let down" after the two perpetrators escaped criminal charges.
In April, 17-year-old Tega Agberhiere suffered serious injuries to his face and body when an acidic substance was thrown on him in the attack.
Back in December it was revealed one of the boys behind the attack had been cautioned by police.
And last week, it was confirmed that the second teen involved had also escaped with a caution - meaning that neither teen will have a criminal record.
Tega's mother Christy expressed her shock at the decision, accusing the country of a lack of equality.
"I feel very, very pained in my heart," she said.
"I have been let down, my son has been let down. The whole of my family has been let down.
"I just feel ashamed that a country like this there is no equality."
Ms Agberhiere added: "I cannot take the laws into my hands.
"This is my son I am talking about. He has done nothing."
Tega was initially blinded by the attack, and feared he would lose his eyesight permanently as a result. The young man was a promising Irish footballer prior to the attack, having represented the country at U16-level.
Two other teens, Oisín Daly (19) and Pádraig Sullivan were also injured in the incident.
Speaking to The Irish Times, a mother of one of the acid attack victims, Shirley Sullivan, criticised the decision.
"This was grievous bodily harm and for these boys to do this and get a slap on the wrist," she said.
"One of these boys got a gang together, he went to another estate and the other boy threw the acid."
Speaking on RTE's Liveline last year, Oisin Daly's father Martin described the original decision as "madness".
Mr Daly said his son had "third-degree burns on his back, burnt through his jacket, his jumper" and would "probably have scarring for life".
"That’s just physically, never mind the emotional part of all this," he added.