Tuesday 16 October 2018

'He tried to choke me with my scarf' - woman attacked in broad daylight on Grafton Street

'But then I realised he wasn't going to let me go and I got really scared. I was sure he was going to hit me'

Grafton street Inset: Becky Ni Uuinseann
Grafton street Inset: Becky Ni Uuinseann

Sasha Brady

An Irish woman is trying to track down the stranger who intervened after she was attacked in broad daylight on Dublin's Grafton Street.

Becky Ni Uuinseann was walking through Grafton Street on her way to work just before 8am on Monday when she was grabbed and attacked by a stranger.

Becky Ni Uuinseann
Becky Ni Uuinseann

"It was very busy at that time because people were going to work. It was bright too," she told Independent.ie.

"I tried to pass this man on my way to Boots when he suddenly grabbed hold of me. He had a strong hold of my right arm and started swinging me around. At first I was really embarrassed because I didn't know him."

Ms Ni Uuinseann said she didn't understand how serious it was at first but she became scared when he didn't loosen his grip on her arm.

"But then I realised he wasn't going to let me go and I got really scared. I was sure he was going to hit me. He then grabbed me by my scarf and started swinging digs at me and tried to choke me with the scarf," she said.

Ms Ni Uuinseann said she felt that the incident carried on for a few minutes.

She said there were plenty of witnesses but nobody stepped forward to help.

"I was so scared. This man, he didn't seem like he was in his right frame of mind. His eyes were crazy. I couldn't smell alcohol off him so I thought perhaps he was off his head on drugs. He was screaming at me in a foreign language. I pushed him away but he was much stronger and bigger than me."

Ms Ni Uuinseann said that soon a man walked up to her from behind and stepped between her and the attacker in an effort to reason with him.

She said that she's sure he took the brunt of the attack.

"He managed to free me so that I could get away. I ran into Boots while the man sorted out the attacker. He then came into Boots to make sure I was okay and then walked me to Stephen's Green.

"I feel awful because I was in such a state of shock that I forgot to get his name or even thank him. We made small talk but I was just in auto-pilot.

"I feel so bad that he might think I'm ungrateful or by not saying thank you I've put him off stepping forward to help someone again."

Ms Ni Uuinseann is now hoping to make contact with the man to say thank you.

She also wants to encourage other people who have been attacked to report it.

"I reported the incident to Finglas Garda Station and they couldn't have been more helpful. They told me that not enough people report these things. No matter how small you may think the incident is you really should report it because usually these people are known to the guards.

"I've learned to me more aware when I'm out walking. I usually have my earphones in and I never pay attention to what's going on around me but I'll be more careful now."

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