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Thursday 2 October 2014

'He hit me in the face so many times' - woman attacked on bus speaks out on ordeal

* Victim says violence in Dublin is 'now out of control'
* Says her experience has really affected her opinion on Ireland
* Described her attacker as a 'random guy' who started hitting her
* Said that he threatened to kill her friend

Elaine McCahill

Published 07/08/2014 | 07:06

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A YOUNG woman who was the victim of a vicious assault on a Dublin Bus that was caught on video has spoken out about the attack and how it has changed her opinion of the city.

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The incident, which was captured in a terrifying video clip that went viral, showed her attacker repeatedly punching her in the head.

The innocent woman told the Herald: "I've lived here for four years and this attack has really affected my view of Dublin and Ireland.

"Has this become just a normal thing? For me it is getting out of control".

The man moves towards the woman

The woman is originally from Central America and is in her late 20s.

She was travelling home with her flatmate from a work function in the city centre when the attack took place, leaving them both traumatised.

She suffered bruising to her arms, face and head and cuts inside her mouth.

Assault

The brutal assaults occurred on Wednesday, July 23 on the number 40 bus as it was passing through the Old Village in Kilmainham at approximately 10.15pm.

Following the assault, the two friends had to be taken to St James' Hospital where they were treated overnight for their injuries.

The man appears to strike the woman on the head

Her flatmate, a young man also in his 20s, suffered extensive injuries and missed several days at work.

"My friend suffered lots of injuries, both physical and psychological. His injuries were so bad that he had to have multiple x-rays and he had to take over a week off from work to recover."

The attack started when a man sat down beside them and began verbally abusing them. He then began kicking her friend and hitting him in the head.

"We didn't know the man who attacked us. He was a random guy. 
He sat down beside us and we could smell alcohol from him and so we tried to move. But he began shouting abuse at us saying that he'd kill my friend," she said.

"Then he started attacking my friend, he was constantly kicking and attacking him for about five minutes. It was all getting very ugly and I got very scared so I told him I was going to call the Gardai if he didn't stop. Then I started recording him attacking my friend so that we would have proof.

"I moved away from them and when the guy saw that I was recording him he came at me and started hitting me.

"He hit me in the face so many times, I put my hands up towards my face to try and protect myself.

"Afterwards he said to me that I was lucky I still had my phone."

The assailant remained on the bus 
for a number of minutes after the attack.

When he got off the bus he tried to board another bus but was refused.

The bus driver called the incident 
in to Dublin Bus central control, notified the gardai and also called an ambulance.

Gardai have appealed for witnesses to come forward. A spokesman last night said no arrests have been made in the case, adding that gardai in Kilmainham are "continuing their investigation".

Security

Unfortunately for the two friends the incident has changed their opinion of Dublin and of Ireland.

The woman said: "this attack has really affected my opinion of Ireland, especially in relation to my personal security.

"When we were waiting at the hospital, there were other people who had been attacked. Has this become just a normal thing?

"We are very disappointed. We are good citizens; we work honestly, pay our taxes and contribute to the society, for what? We didn't get any help when we needed it; we ended up paying €100 each at the hospital even though it wasn't our fault that we were attacked".

hnews@herald.ie

Irish Independent

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