THE woman that was blinded in one eye after she returned to Ireland for a holiday has said she will not rule out a visit here this year.
Marie Gauvin (58) was an innocent bystander to a fight in Birr, Co Offaly, in July, when she was struck by a glass bottle and blinded in one eye.
She returned to her home in Canada two weeks after she underwent medical treatment and an operation in Dublin.
Now, just five months after the incident that changed her life, the mother-of-one said that she may make her annual pilgrimage to her native home this year.
"I don't know at this point. But I can't rule it out -- my family is there," Mrs Gauvin said from her Ontario home.
Since her return to Canada in August, she has undergone constant medical treatment and still experiences pain.
"Physically, I am doing well. About seven weeks ago, the doctor removed half the stitches that were inside, on the eye."
The remaining stitches have not healed as expected and have not yet been taken out.
"The doctor said I have a long road ahead after the removal of the stitches, if they can be removed," she said.
Mrs Gauvin (nee Wrafter) was born in Birr, but moved with her three siblings and parents, Frank and Phylis, to Windsor, Ontario.
Her brother Michael revealed that their sister Irene had retained her Irish citizenship after emigration, but now plans to give it up after the incident.
Mrs Gauvin was seriously injured following a Gathering event in Birr, Co Offaly, at which her elderly father -- a gifted basket weaver -- was being honoured.
Mrs Gauvin suffered a severed retina, sustained three fractures in her eye socket and had to receive 23 stitches.
Gary Ward (19), from Birr, has since been charged with assault for his alleged involvement in the incident.