A RALLY has been held in Navan to show support for a teenage boy who was the victim of an unprovoked assault in the town on Monday.
The attack, which was filmed and shared widely online, left the 14-year-old victim requiring hospital treatment for serious facial injuries.
Five teenagers arrested on Friday in connection with the assault have since been released without charge.
'Navan will not tolerate hate crime'
Saturday's rally saw around 100 people march through the town, many displaying pride flags and messages reading 'Meath says no to hate'.
Marchers could also be heard chanting: "No hate, no fear, everybody's welcome here."
The march began at Páirc Táilteann, where Patrick Lawlor of Navan Pride told the crowd that the town stood in solidarity with the victim of the attack.
"Today is not about Navan Pride, today is about one young person who has the courage to be who they are," he said.
"And about one town standing behind that brave young soul.
"Today is about solidarity and sending the message that we in Navan do not and will not tolerate hate crime of any kind."
A video of Monday's incident drew condemnation from politicians across the country, including Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, who said the parents of the attackers need 'to take responsibility for this as well’.
An Garda Síochána said the attack had been classified as an assault with 'hate as a motivating factor'.
Five teenage boys were arrested on Friday for alleged offences under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.
After being questioned by specialist gardaí due to their age, all were released without charge.
Gardaí said a file will be referred for consideration for admission to the Juvenile Diversion Programme.