'I didn't think he was going to stop' - Girl who was viciously attacked 'thought she was going to die'
A young Donegal student who was viciously punched in the face has described the moment she thought she was going to die.
Student Shanan Reid McDaid was hospitalised after she was attacked by a stranger while waiting to get a taxi home after a night out in Letterkenny, Co Donegal.
The 18-year-old was left with severe facial injuries from being repeatedly punched early on Sunday morning.
The attack happened at the Market Square at around 3am as Shanan's friends walked ahead of her.
The thug first called her "b****" and "s***" and as she turned round, he attacked her.
"My friends were literally around the side of the building where it happened. I was at one side and they were at the other.
"This was in the entrance to a car park, just off the main road," Shanan told RTÉ's Sean O'Rourke show.
The Donegal student said that her attacker was on his own and that she had never seen him before.
"I didn't speak to him. When I turned back and noticed him saying those words to me I didn't say anything so I don't know what his reason was."
The second time he called her names, she said she turned around and confronted him.
"I knew if I had called for my friends and boyfriend that things would have turned out a lot worse for him. He looked so normal and I didn't think I wanted to put him in that position but maybe I should have done that instead."
The attack lasted for several minutes and left Shanan with a broken nose, chipped teeth and cuts on her head.
"My face is really puffy and bruised."
Shanan described the moment she thought she was going to die during the violent attack.
"At the time I thought I was going to die. It was so sore and I didn't know if he was going to stop. I was lying on the ground thinking this could be it but thank God it didn't happen."
She added that her attacker ran off after someone else startled him.
The arts student said that her attacker had brown hair and was wearing a navy blazer, jeans and a white shirt.
"I'm almost sure he was local. He only spoke the two words to me but from that I didn't think he sounded any different to me.
"I got myself back up and I ran over to my friends. That's when they realised that something had happened. They didn't hear anything which was crazy. They were so shocked it had happened.
"We were looking for a taxi but there were none so a random man on the street took us to casualty. The guards were already there for other reasons so they came into me afterwards."
Shanan said that her friends went looking for the attacker after they realised what happened.
"Three boys went up different roads but they couldn't find him."
She has since been discharged from hospital and is recovering well at home.
"I'm definitely getting better every day but I'm still pretty sore. There are things that will still take a while to heal like my teeth. I'm definitely looking better than I did on Sunday morning."
Yesterday, Independent.ie revealed that a taxi driver had come forward to say he may know the identity of her attacker.
The driver confirmed he picked up a fare at the same time the Galway University student was set upon and confirmed he fitted the description given by Shanan.
He also said that the man was in an agitated state when he got into his taxi. The driver was yesterday due to call at Letterkenny Garda Station to pass on the details of the event and other information to gardai.
Shanan said she is hopeful that the breakthrough may lead to the arrest of the person responsible for her terrifying ordeal.
The teen who attends college in Galway said she never thought that anything like this would happen in her hometown in Donegal.
"My mum and dad said that knowing I was going to Galway, things like this did worry them and it did cross their minds that things could happen in such a big city, but things like this don't happen in Letterkenny."