Mary Fahy, who was hit with 32 eggs, said ‘I can’t drive by myself anymore. I’m afraid to pass there without my husband or son being in the car’
A 64-year-old woman viciously pelted with eggs at close range through the front window of her jeep has appealed to her brother’s grown-up children: “For God’s sake … leave us in peace.”
Pictures that can be printed for the first time today show Mary Fahy sitting stunned in the egg-drenched interior of her Ford Kuga, yolk running down her face, after she was pelted with 32 eggs during the sustained and sickening five-minute-attack.
On Thursday, Mary’s nephew and niece, Cathal (26) and Michelle Connors (21) of Farnaun, Peterswell, Galway, were convicted and fined by Judge Mary Larkin of assault and causing criminal damage to Mary’s vehicle.
The attack was motivated by a disagreement relating to a farm owned by another sister of the Connors’ father, Patrick. Although ill, the other sister is alive and being cared for by Mary.
In her only interview, distraught pensioner Mary told on Friday how the vicious assault had robbed her of the freedom to drive by herself or even go for walks in her own community.
“I’m afraid,” she said. “What if, next time, it’s a rock?”
Recalling the incident, which occurred on the evening of October 17, 2019, Mary, who lives 2.5km from the Connors house and must pass by on her way back from nearby Gort, said she was the victim of an “ambush”.
“I knew it was set up the minute I saw the two children running out the front door of the house,” Mary recalled.
“And I said to myself: ‘Oh Jesus Christ, I’m in trouble here’.
“I had my window down three quarters because it was a lovely evening in October.
“I was after doing my shopping – I’ll never forget it.
“And the next thing was I got the bang and ‘Jesus’, I said, ‘What’s this?’
“One, two and then, so many, I couldn’t count them.
“They [Cathal and Michelle] were standing right outside the window of the jeep, only as far from me as you are from me now … right outside my window.”
In her panic, Mary said she initially thought the brother and sister were throwing stones.
“Jesus, I thought, they were going to kill me,” she said.
“I really and truly thought it was stones – they were so hard.
“I don’t know how long it went on for, but there were 32 eggs, so it was six or seven minutes anyway.
“The two of them were at it, you see.
“My glasses were knocked sideways, my head and chest were pelted.
“The headrest, the windscreen, the road, the back of the interior of the car, it was all covered.
“We had to bring the car to be cleaned the next day before they would dry in.
“And I had done nothing to them – only that I tried to help my sister.”
Mary said the most shocking thing to her, is that until the dispute emerged four years ago when Mary loaned her sister money to put up CCTV cameras at her farmhouse, her family and her brother’s family were on relatively good terms.
“These kids spent time in my own house. Cathal was friendly with my own son,” she said.
“But that’s all gone.
“All the while they were doing this to me, they were shouting, I couldn’t tell you what.”
Mary said when the eggs stopped coming, she was in shock.
“I wasn’t able to call the guards so I called my son. And my son called the guards.”
In the two years since the incident, said Mary, her niece and nephew have never once offered to apologise.
Instead, the situation has only deteriorated.
Mary outlined two other incidents that have occurred, but these cannot currently be mentioned as they are before the courts.
“In the two years since, they have never apologised,” she said.
“When I drive by that house, I get fingers up to me.
“And I can’t drive by myself anymore. I’m afraid to pass there without my husband or son being in the car.”
Asked if there was any message, she would want her brother’s children to take from this article, Mary said: “For God’s sake, leave us in peace. I want to be able to drive down the road without fear.
“I used to be able to go for walks with my dogs and I can’t anymore.”
At Thursday’s sentencing, John Nash, the solicitor representing Cathal and Michelle Connors, said there had been difficulties in the family, including between Fahy’s brother, Patrick Connors, and another sister, in relation to a farm.
During the court hearing, Mary agreed with the solicitor about the difficulties and said: “He tried to take over her farm – he is the one man causing all the problems”.
Convicting and fining the brother and sister €1,000 each for the assault and criminal damage, she said she had read both Fahy’s handwritten victim impact statement and a probation report on the two accused.
Judge Larkin said: “I had hoped that I could deal with these matters by not criminalising two young people.”
But, she continued: “I am quite satisfied that there isn’t any other way. That is because there is no acknowledgement of what went on, there is no apology and no remorse.
“I seriously regret that I have to convict these young people. Their parents and everyone who is involved in this very sad story should sit back and think about the shortness of life.”