Gardaí are investigating a machete attack on a woman in a village in the west of Ireland that prompted a public meeting.
The 26-year old was travelling in a car when it was set upon by a crowd on Main St in Eyrecourt, Co Galway. The attack followed an earlier incident at the same location in which her brother was attacked.
A number of assailants were carrying weapons and caused damage to the vehicle before the victim was attacked by a man wielding a machete.
The blade shattered her wrist and severed a number of tendons during the attack. She was transported to Portiuncula Hospital in Ballinasloe before being transferred to University Hospital Galway for surgery.
The woman, who did not want to be identified, said that the ordeal had forced her to put her life on hold but she was making progress with her recovery.
“It was an unprovoked attack,” she said. “They surrounded the car with weapons and they intentionally set out to cause damage. Because of that, I got my right wrist broken by a machete, which also damaged several tendons.
“Because of this, my life has been put on hold but I’m on the mend and improving daily. Right now, I’m focussing on getting better.”
The vicious assault ended only when gardaí arrived on the scene, having received a call about criminal damage to a car at the location. The crowd dispersed and an ambulance was called for the injured party.
A garda spokesperson said that an investigation into the incident which occurred on June 16 is ongoing.
The attack shocked locals in the quiet village of Eyrecourt, where a public meeting to discuss concerns arising from the incident was attended by up to 300 people the following night.
“People are shocked and feel let down,” said Fianna Fáil TD Anne Rabbitte.
“People found themselves under siege in their own property on the night and couldn’t go outside their front door.
“The community felt so upset about it that they had to hold a public meeting because they lived in fear on that night, because they were afraid to walk down the street. They were told to stay indoors, they didn’t know what was going on.”
The victim of the machete attack asked to remain anonymous but emphasised the reason she wished to do so was not that she was afraid.
“I’d rather not use my name,” said the woman. “Not out of fear, but I just don’t want to be known as ‘the machete girl’.”
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