A young mum bravely fought off three hooded teenagers who laughed as they lunged at her with a knife and sliced her leg with the blade in a terrifying attack.
Thankfully Emma Hanrahan managed to deflect the blade from her face and neck and she frantically kicked and punched at the youths until they fled.
The 30-year-old, who carries out voluntary work in the community, was walking through the GAA car park in Balbriggan, Co Dublin when she was hit from behind at about 6pm last Friday.
"I had my earphones in so I didn't hear them coming until I got a thump to the back of my head and was pushed face down to the ground," she said.
"I saw the weapon, which I reckon was a knife, coming at my face and neck but thankfully, I managed to get my hands up in time and the thickness of my jacket sleeve took the cuts.
She said that when she knocked one of them over the others said: "Run Blood or some kind of slang".
"They were only kids. Maybe 17 or 18 years old or even younger and were covered up well.
"I don't think they wanted to rob me because I had my phone, €20, and cigarettes in my pockets but they didn't even look for anything.
"When they ran off, I just got up and ran and stumbled to try and get to safety and an elderly man came to see if I was ok. He had heard screams and had rang the gardaí who arrived within about five minutes.
"I'd actually really like to find this man again to say thank you.
Ms Hanrahan said the gardaí returned home with her and that paramedics checked her after the attack.
"The gardaí brought me home and the paramedics called to check me over later. My lip is busted and there was a lot of blood.
"The back of my ear was cut, I've bruises everywhere as I got kicked to the side of my head and face and I've a cut to my leg from the blade. I'm just blessed that I was wearing such a thick jacket that took the other stabs."
The mum of three who has a five-year-old daughter with severe special needs says her other ten-year-old child was supposed to come walking with her but changed her mind at the last minute.
"My ten-year-old daughter was supposed to come walking with me but thankfully she changed her mind just before we left.
"I won't be going out for a walk on my own ever again. This town has become really bad in terms of gangs and violence and I believe two girls were attacked over Christmas.
I grew up in a rough area of Dublin and I'm a tough cookie but this has really shaken me to the core. When you are in that situation, it's true what they say, your life really does flash before your eyes and all I could see were my daughters and my partner Rob.
"I work really hard with community groups to try and make this town safer and I'm just thinking, is this the thanks I get - to get jumped on.
"I'm shocked. The situation in this town is getting out of hand and I don't want my daughters growing up here in the way it is at the minute.
"I just can't get it out of my head that they were laughing all the time they were lunging at me with a knife - they are just vile mouthed animals."
In a statement, An Gardaí Síochána said they are investigating the alleged assault.
"Gardaí are investigating an alleged assault which occurred on the Bath Road in Balbrigga, Co Dublin on Friday, January 15, 2021 at approximately 6.30pm.
"A woman was approached from behind by three male youths, who pushed her to the ground. The woman received injuries from the incident. These have not been reported as serious."
Gardaí said investigations are ongoing and no arrests have been made yet.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Balbriggan Garda station at (01) 8020510.