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Victim saw attacker on TV trip to Paris

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Ciara Kiernan. Photo: Collins Courts.

Ciara Kiernan. Photo: Collins Courts.

Ciara Kiernan. Photo: Collins Courts.

THE victim of a vicious assault has spoken about her anger at seeing one of her attackers being "rewarded" with a trip to Paris as part of an RTE show.

Julie McGregor was attacked with a baseball bat by sisters, Ciara Kiernan (18) and Sabrina Archbold (25), outside her apartment minutes after she had revealed to her friends that she was pregnant.

She miscarried the day after the horrific incident while she was in hospital being treated for her injuries.

Her family say they do not know whether the attack was directly related to her losing her baby.

Yesterday, both sisters were given two-year suspended sentences by Judge Mary Ellen Ring, who noted it was a serious assault, but that neither had any other convictions.

The sisters, both of Drumalee Grove, North Circular Road, pleaded guilty to assault causing harm at Carnlough Road, Cabra, on October 3, 2011.

The court heard that following the attack, Kiernan was approached by a television production company to appear on John Lonergan's show, Circus.

shock

The reality television series, which was hosted by the former governor of Mountjoy, depicted wayward youths being rehabilitated through taking part in a circus.

Ms McGregor told Dublin Circuit Criminal Court of her anger and shock at seeing her attacker taken to Paris as part of the show. She said it felt like Kiernan was being rewarded for the attack by going on television and getting a foreign trip.

"I've always wanted to be on TV, I've always wanted to go to Paris, but I can't afford it," she said.

Ms McGregor said the production company had asked if she was comfortable with Kiernan going on the show and she said she was after Kiernan had apologised to her.

However, Ms McGregor said she did not know the programme would be so "rewarding" and that Kiernan would get a foreign trip.

Impact

Michael Bowman, defending Kiernan, handed in letters from John Lonergan and the show's producers which stated the show had a positive impact on her.

Counsel added that she did go to Paris, but it was "not the case that she benefited from the crime".

Judge Ring said that she "can totally understand Ms McGregor's position" and ordered both accused pay over €500 as compensation. She added that she hoped the victim can use this for a trip to Paris.

Speaking to the Herald last night, her father Frank McGregor hit out at the suspended sentences.

"It happened right outside this front door. They arrived with baseball bats and she ended up being hospitalised.

"She lost the baby the following day – it was a very hard time for her, the worst week of her life," he said.

"It hit her really hard. She took a long time to recover. And yet these two girls are allowed to walk free. It's not right at all," he added.

hnews@herald.ie


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