A young mother fought off three hooded teenagers who laughed as they lunged at her with a knife and sliced her leg during an attack.
Emma Hanrahan (30) managed to deflect the blade from her face and neck then kicked and punched at the youths until they fled.
Ms Hanrahan, who carries out voluntary work in the community, was walking through the GAA car park in Balbriggan when she was hit from behind at about 6.30pm on Friday.
"I had my earphones in so I didn't hear them coming until I got a thump to the back of my head and was pushed face down to the ground," she said.
"I saw feet and then felt pain in my leg where they cut me.
"I just started punching and kicking as hard as I could and I managed to knock one to the ground.
"I saw the weapon, which I reckon was a knife, coming at my face and neck but, thankfully, I managed to get my hands up in time and the thickness of my jacket sleeve took the cuts.
"They were just laughing all the time, and when I kicked one of them to the ground, the other said 'Run blood', or some kind of gang slang to them.
"They were only kids, maybe 17 or 18-years-old or even younger, and were covered up well.
"I don't think they wanted to rob me because I had my phone, €20 and cigarettes in my pockets but they didn't even look for anything.
"When they ran off, I just got up and ran and stumbled to try and get to safety and an elderly man came to see if I was OK.
"He had heard screams and had rung the gardaí who arrived within about five minutes.
"The gardaí brought me home and the paramedics called to check me over later.
"My lip is busted and there was a lot of blood.
"The back of my ear was cut, I've bruises everywhere as I got kicked to the side of my head and face and I've a cut to my leg from the blade.
Ms Hanrahan said her 10-year-old daughter was supposed to be with her, but had changed her mind before she left the house.
"I won't be going out for a walk on my own ever again," Ms Hanrahan said.
"I grew up in a rough area of Dublin and I'm a tough cookie, but this has really shaken me to the core.
"When you're in that situation, it's true what they say, your life really does flash before your eyes, and all I could see were my daughters and my partner Rob.
"I work really hard with community groups to try and make this town safer, and I'm just thinking, is this the thanks I get - to get jumped on?
"The situation in this town is getting out of hand and I don't want my daughters growing up here in the way it is at the minute.
"I just can't get it out of my head that they were laughing all the time they were lunging at me with a knife.
"They're just vile-mouthed animals."
Gardaí said they are investigating an alleged assault on the Bath Road, Balbriggan, on Friday.
No arrests have been made but investigations are continuing.