| 7.3°C Dublin

Badly beaten chippy owner vows thugs won't win

A WOMAN released from hospital after a savage beating which left her with horrific injuries says her attackers won't deter her from returning to the job she loves.

Wendy Taaffe (34), from Tallanstown, Co Louth, who has run Wendy's Whistle Stop Chippy near Ardee, Co Louth, for 14 years, was pulling into her usual sales spot at 6.30am on Saturday, January 22 when two masked men pulled in behind her.

They beat her and then drove over her legs, breaking one of her ankles and fracturing her leg.

"I pulled up at the usual stop and got out of the jeep in the pitch dark. Suddenly, a masked man grabbed me and punched me in the stomach, ribs and the back of my head and just threw me on the ground like I was a bit of dirt.

"I got up when I saw he was taking my jeep and van to try and stop him, but he hit me in the face and I stumbled and fell and that's when he drove over me. I was repeating over and over in my head: 'Please God, don't let them kill me'," said Ms Taaffe.

"He then reversed and I had to roll out of the way to avoid being flattened," she added.

Her attackers made off with her black 2004 Louth-registered commercial Toyota Landcruiser and her chip van on the N2 between Ardee and Carrickmacross.

She sustained a broken right ankle, a fracture to the base of her spine, bleeding in the womb and brain, along with bruises from being kicked.

"I was in absolute agony and shock," said Ms Taaffe, who spent nine days in Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital, Drogheda.

Her attackers drove about half a mile up the road and unhitched the chip van.

Ms Taaffe fears her attackers were attempting to intimidate her into closing down her roadside business.

Gardai are investigating the attack. As yet there have been no arrests.

Irish Independent