AN IRISH emigrant who returned home for a Gathering celebration has lost the sight in one eye after being hit with a glass bottle.
Marie Gauvin (58) and her three siblings left Birr, Co Offaly, in 1966 when their father Frank Wrafter, a talented weaver, went to Canada for work.
Last weekend the mum of one was back home, with her 84-year-old father and sister Irene (53), for The Gathering.
She had been enjoying a night out in her local town and was walking past an area known as Keel's Archway at around 11pm on Sunday, just as a fight broke out.
Although she wasn't involved, she was struck in the face by a glass beer bottle which severed her retina and fractured bones in her eye socket.
Ms Gauvin, who was with her cousin at the time of the incident, was rushed to Tullamore Hospital for treatment.
She was transferred to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin and was operated on early Monday morning and on Tuesday afternoon.
Ms Gauvin has been blinded in her right eye and received 23 stitches in total.
Speaking from hospital, she bravely said that she felt "not too bad" following her ordeal.
She will need to have her right eye surgically removed as it has been damaged beyond repair after the glassing. Gardai are investigating the incident.
Officers have secured CCTV footage and are hopeful of making an arrest. Earlier in the evening the Birr native had accompanied her father as he acted as the Grand Marshall of the Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival parade.
It was a flagship event for The Gathering in Offaly and the family were delighted to be honoured during the parade.
Ms Gauvin's brother, Michael Wrafter, who lives in Ontario, Canada, said that he wouldn't rest until he got to the bottom of what happened.
"We go back every year and we had all just been back together in May.
"I believe somebody is responsible for this. I am not going to stop until I get to the bottom of this," he said.
Ms Gauvin will return to Canada on Saturday and will have her right eye surgically removed the following Monday.