Shock as popular local girl caught in attack
THE WOMAN who endured a terrifying ordeal when she sustained injuries from the pellets fired from a shotgun in the early hours of Saturday morning, remained in hospital last night.
Patricia Byrne's injuries are not believed to be life-threatening but she is still in Dublin's St James's Hospital.
The 21-year-old lives in the quiet Cluain Ard, Lis na Mara estate on the outskirts of Dundalk, where it is understood she shares a two-storey, semi-detached rented house.
Her family home is in the village of Louth, some 11km to the south-east.
Locals in the village spoke yesterday of a popular girl, from a highly respected family, who have a long association with the area.
Ms Byrne is the eldest of four children, with one sister, Sarah, and two brothers, Patrick and the youngest in the family, John Paul.
She has been a member of the local camogie club in nearby Knockbridge village for several years.
One club member, who did not wish to be named, said Ms Byrne had continued to tog out for the team even though she was working as a nurse.
She had earned her nursing qualification from the Dundalk Institute of Technology, and was working in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.
"She is a very popular girl. She had played for us for the last couple of years," the club member said.
"She was a regular on the panel. We just couldn't believe it."
Family members, including her mum Patricia, did not want to make any comment when contacted by the Irish Independent yesterday.
Although they had been socialising together, it is not known whether Ms Byrne was romantically involved with father-of-three James Hughes (35), who was gunned down in the taxi.
Crossmaglen Rangers, for which Mr Hughes played, yesterday paid tribute to him as a valued and committed member of the club.
"The Committee, players and members of Crossmaglen Rangers GFC are shocked and saddened by the untimely death of our friend and colleague James and along with the entire local community are devastated at this tragic event," a club statement said.