Watch: 'I’ve never encountered anything like that' - Tourist suffered fractured elbow in Dublin phone mugging
Published 11/07/2016 | 21:26
This is the moment a tourist suffered a fractured elbow bruised ribs after being mugged in Dublin city centre
Noreen Northrop, a Kansas-based Irish dance teacher, was filming her students dancing on Lower Abbey Street on June 27 when passers-by grabbed her phone and ran.
“We were over as part of an Irish dancing festival around Donegal and Galway,” said Ms Northrop (55). “We decided to stop in Dublin before our flight home.”
When some of her students started dancing on the street on the night of the incident, Ms Northrop started recording them on her phone. It was not long before they attracted the attention of two men nearby.
“All of a sudden two guys came over,” said Ms Northrop. “At first they were friendly and their friend, a girl, even joined in the dancing.”
However, the situation took a turn for the worse when one of the group tried to snatch Ms Northrop’s phone from her.
“It was quite innocent at first, but after a while I realised there was something up,” she said.
“He eventually grabbed the phone from me and I fell to the ground, so out of pure instinct I ran after him.”
However, Ms Northrop could not catch up and ended up suffering a number of injuries when she fell.
“It wasn’t a violent incident, but I suffered a fractured elbow and bruised ribs, so that’s basically what happened,” she said. “It wasn’t a great experience.”
Originally from Glasgow, Ms Northrop has competed in dance competitions and championships across the world from a young age.
She moved with her family in 1997 to Kansas, where she runs a successful Irish dance academy.
“I’ve been to Dublin so many times and I’ve never encountered anything like that,” she said.
“I suppose it took me longer to react to this guy because people are normally very friendly over here.”
Gardai are investigating the incident.
Meanwhile, the Irish Tourist Assistance Service (ITAS) said 823 visitors were the victims of robberies or assaults in Ireland last year.
The figure is a 9pc increase on 2014.
“Theft of an object” from tourists accounted for 42pc of the cases referred to ITAS.
Dublin Lord Mayor Brendan Carr wished Ms Northrop a speedy recovery, and stressed that tourists and residents of Dublin “always need to be vigilant”.
“I know from my own experience that people have had their phones snatched out of their hands,” he said.
Mr Carr also urged residents to help “stamp out” such crimes by reporting any incidents of which they may be aware.
“If anyone has any information about this incident, or any incident, I would ask them to tell the gardai,” he said.
“No incident is too small and we can stamp it out.”
A Failte Ireland spokesman said the incident was “very regrettable”.
“We want every visitor to have a fantastic time, and the vast majority of tourists in Dublin do,” he added.