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Liam Neeson and Ciarán Hinds' outrage after Ukrainian actor assaulted in Dublin

Top Irish actors Liam Neeson and Ciaran Hinds sent a joint letter to the Ukrainian actor Oleksandr Hrekov who was assaulted in Dublin this summer.

IrishCentral Staff

Shocked by the unprovoked attack on 23-year-old Ukrainian actor Oleksandr Hrekov, Neeson reached out to ask him to "accept our deepest apologies" on behalf of himself and fellow actor Ciarán Hinds.

Oleksandr Hrekov was attacked in Dublin city center this past June, shortly after performing at the Abbey Theatre. He was part of a Kyiv theater company, Lesya Ukrainka National Academic Drama Theatre, that had traveled to Dublin to put on a production of "Translations" by Irish playwright Brian Friel.

The 23-year-old actor was beaten up a short distance away from the Abbey Theatre after some passers-by tried to steal his cigarettes. Five people, two men and three women, assaulted him and glassed him with a bottle. The actor required stitches and was rushed to hospital.

In his letter, written on behalf of himself and Hinds, Liam Neeson said:

“Dear Oleksandr, 

"I only recently learned of the assault on your person in our capital city, Dublin, Ireland, on June 24th. of this year. My dear friend and fellow actor from Belfast, Ciarán Hinds informed me of this. To say we were shocked would be an understatement. We were appalled! That it was a fellow actor and colleague performing on our national stage in Brian Friel’s masterpiece play ‘Translations’ only added to this disgrace.

"On behalf of every actor and actress in our country (north and south) please accept our deepest apologies and personal hurt at the affront on your person on that night. You and your National Ukrainian Theater company were our guests and honored to have you perform in your country’s language. It was a national embarrassment. I saw a photograph of you at the hospital with one side of your face stitched up…. and you managed to smile. This brought tears to my eyes at your bravery. We hope and pray that you continue to heal and also that the young thugs who committed this assault will be found and suitably punished. Bless you.

"Warmest regards, always,

"Liam Neeson.”

In response, Hrekov’s manager replied:

“Dear Liam,

"I very much apologize for such a late reply.  I was on a long business trip and have just returned to Kyiv.

"First of all, I would like to say that it is a great honor to receive a letter from you. We are very touched by the attention to the incident and Oleksandr personally, such support is very important.

"In spite of what happened, we are very impressed with Ireland, Dublin and the Irish people. Unfortunately, no one is immune to human cruelty.

"Oleksandr feels well and continues to participate in many performances of our theatre. Oleksandr would be honored to receive a letter or call from you.”