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Saturday 23 August 2014

'I was crushed and shouting at bouncers that I couldn't breathe'

Published 29/01/2014 | 07:35

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CLUBBERS caught in the horror crush outside Copper Face Jacks have told of their terror as hundreds tried to cram into the popular nightspot.

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One teen described how she was crushed into railings and "couldn't breathe" while another said people in the queue fell like dominoes.

"I was shouting to the bouncers that I couldn't breathe," said student Hannah Kelly (19, left).

And while the revellers recounted how they feared being trampled amid the chaos, the father of the most seriously injured teenager has told of his relief that she survived the terrifying ordeal.

Niamh Cannon (18), from Letterkenny, Co Donegal, was left in a critical condition after the incident just before midnight on Monday but was last night recovering, her father said.

The student teacher, who attends the Marino Institute, was able to speak with her family last night after being transferred from the ICU at St James's hospital.

"Everyone is well here and that's the main thing," her father John told the Herald.

Scene of the crush outside Copper Face Jacks on Monday night.
Hannah Kelly, 19, from Glasnevin, who was in the queue for Copper Face Jacks nightclub on Harcourt Street. Picture credit; Damien Eagers / Evening Herald 28/1/2014
Hannah Kelly, 19, from Glasnevin, who was in the queue for Copper Face Jacks. Photo: Damien Eagers
Niamh Cannon (18), who was injured in a crush outside Copper Face Jacks.

"She was crushed at the front of the queue and passed out," a friend said last night.

"Thankfully, she has come around and was able to speak to her family. It could have been a lot worse."

Trinity College student Hannah Kelly (19) recalled how she was unable to breathe in the middle of the surging crowd.

JAMMED

Hannah, from Glasnevin, said she was nearing the front of the queue in the lane beside the club, Camden Place, when "people started to push forward and I was being jammed into the fences".

"Everyone was pushing," she said. "I was getting very distressed.

"I was just thinking, 'I can't get out, I need to get out'. I was really panicked.

"I was shouting to the bouncers that I couldn't breathe. I just wanted to get out of the queue."

Hannah said she felt like she was having a panic attack.

"Some of the lads were saying, 'She needs to get out, she can't breathe'," she said.

Hannah said the Copper Face Jacks bouncers "were trying hard" to keep the queue under control but "there were so many people, they just couldn't control it".

She said staff at the nightclub opened the doors, allowing hundreds of people into the premises free of charge so that the crush could be alleviated.

Hannah, who suffered bruises to her arm and legs, earlier told Niall Boylan of Classic Hits 4FM: "It was just a huge number of people, they just weren't expecting that many people.

"When you got inside it wasn't that packed at all, it was in the lane that there was a problem."

Another student, Emma Marry (18), from Co Louth, was in front of the club when the crush began and described the scene.

She said: "All of a sudden all hell broke loose in the lane at the side and people started spilling into the street crying in panic.

TRAMPLED

"The whole alley was full when the barrier fell over under the strain, and once people fell, more fell on top of them and they couldn't get up."

UCD student Niamh Reilly said: "People were just falling, it was just like pushing dominos, one falling after the other.

"It was terrifying. I thought I was going to get trampled."

Blanchardstown IT student Jason McCarthy (20), who was also in the lane, said he freed himself after his legs got caught in the barriers by taking off his shoes, but he gashed his shin.

By Greg Harkin , Cormac McQuinn and Conort Feehan

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