'As I was walking up the street a teen punched me in the face' - heavily pregnant woman (25) assaulted on city centre street
A PREGNANT mother of one vowed that an unprovoked street attack will not force her out of Ireland.
The 25 year old Latvian mother said she loves Ireland and intends to remain here with her husband and young family despite an horrific unprovoked attack in Cork city centre which saw her punched into the face by a teen.
Sintija, who is too frightened to give her surname or be photographed, admitted she feels very lucky that all she suffered in the incident at 7.15pm on Princes Street in Cork last Sunday evening was minor cuts and bruising to her cheek and jaw.
"I was walking home when I came to Princes Street in the city centre," she said.
"I am six months pregnant and was wearing a heavy coat because of the wind and cold."
"As I was walking up the street alone a teen came over and, as I passed, punched me in the face."
"I didn't fall to the ground. I was very shocked. There were three or maybe four of them."
"They just stood there. I think they were watching me to see what I would do or say to them."
She was punched despite no words having been exchanged.
Sintija said she was initially too shocked to react - but several pedestrians saw what had happened and immediately ran to her aid.
Princes Street and Oliver Plunkett Street was crowded at the time with Christmas shoppers, workers heading home and revellers heading to Cork's Glow Christmas Festival on the nearby Grand Parade.
"One or two men ran towards me. One of them, Derek, started roaring at the teens and they immediately ran away."
"Derek and then Con came over to help me. I was shocked and upset but I did not need to go to hospital."
Luckily, she managed to keep her feet and did not fall to the concrete pavement.
Sintija, who moved to Ireland from Latvia six years ago, just wanted to go home to her husband and five year old son.
"Derek and Con were very kind. They helped me and made sure I was OK," she said.
But when she awoke the following morning, her face was swollen and bruised from the blow she received.
She also found it sore to speak or eat.
Sintija said she is just relieved it was her face rather than her stomach which took the blow.
The young mother said the attack was totally unprovoked and she does not believe it was the prelude to a robbery.
"I don't think so. I think it may have been drink or maybe drugs. I was wearing a heavy coat so maybe they did not even know I was pregnant," she said.
Gardai are now investigating the incident and admitted they have been "absolutely overwhelmed" by information from the public since an appeal was issued on Cork radio station, 96FM.
Gardai are also examining CCTV security camera footage from the area.
One garda source said they are "very confident" the culprit with be identified and brought to justice."
"We have a lot of information and plenty of images to study from CCTV cameras around the area. At this point, we would urge the individual to contact gardai before we trace them," he said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact either the Bridewell Garda Station or Angelsea Street Garda Station.
Sintija said she was "very surprised" by the outpouring of sympathy and support from ordinary Cork people appalled by the attack.
"I like it in Ireland. I am raising my son here. I will not let this make me think about leaving. But I was very shocked by what happened," she said.
Derek admitted he was shocked to witness what happened.
"It isn't the kind of thing you expect to see happen in Cork let alone to a young woman who is pregnant and walking home to her family," he said.