An 18-year-old girl is searching for answers and justice after she was beaten in a senseless attack in Letterkenny at the weekend.
Shanan Reid-McDaid’s night out with friends turned into a horrific ordeal when she was viciously assaulted by an unknown man off the Main Street of Letterkenny.
A hunt is taking place for the man responsible for the shocking incident which occurred above the Market Square between 2:59 and 3:10am on Saturday night/Sunday morning.
Shanan said she was approached from behind by a man who called her a ‘slut’ and a bitch’ outside Cara House.
When she turned around to confront the man, she was punched in the face and fell to the ground.
Her attacker, whom she didn’t know, then proceeded to repeatedly punch her several times while standing over her.
Shanan, an 18-year-old Arts student at Galway University, said she simply doesn’t know how she survived the attack.
She told Donegal Daily “He looked very normal and I just didn’t know why he would call me those names. Not that it matters what I was wearing but I had a long black coat on so I don’t know why he called me those names.
“When I turned around to confront him, he just punched me in the face and I fell down. He then started punching me over and over again.
“I just mumbled that I was sorry, I was sorry and I pleaded with him to stop. If the attack had lasted any longer, I’m convinced I would have died.
“I don’t know why he stopped but he did and I’m just thankful that he did.”
Shanan, from Illistrin on the outskirts of Letterkenny, had been out with her boyfriend Glen and two other friends who were a short distance away but did not hear her ordeal which happened around 3am.
The group had walked to the top of the Market Square area, a popular thing for local people to do in order to hail a taxi.
“When I caught up with them they just couldn’t believe what had happened. They went looking for the guy but he was gone,” she added.
Shanan spent the next four hours in Letterkenny University Hospital and was due to attend Sligo Hospital yesterday (Mon) for more treatment but that was cancelled due to Storm Ophelia.
She described her attacker as being between 30 and 40 years and clean shaven with a Donegal or Northern accent and had brown or dirty blonde hair.
She said he was wearing a navy/dark coloured blazer with a white/light coloured shirt underneath and dark denim jeans.
The young student said she has no plans to go out again after her horrific ordeal.
“You hear of these things happening but you never think it will happen to you. I don’t know why this man attacked me. I do know that from what I went through that he is capable of doing it again.
“I’m a pretty normal girl going to college and trying to get on with things and now this has completely knocked me.
“After this I would certainly say to girls out there not to be anywhere alone. My boyfriend was nearby and he still didn’t know what had happened to me. Be close to people at all times,” she said.
Shanan has reported the incident to Letterkenny Gardai. She has appealed to the public and all taxi drivers to report any information to Gardai.
Meanwhile, the chairman of Donegal County Council, Cllr Gerry McMonagle, said attacks on young women in Letterkenny were becoming all too frequent.
He appealed to people not to walk home alone and to take taxis while out.
“This is happening all too often. This is not the first time we have heard of a young woman being attacked and this is simply another shocking incident.
“This woman is certainly not to blame but I would appeal to friends of people not to leave them alone at night but to ensure they get taxis or are walked home safely.
“We obviously have an issue with this sort of thing in Letterkenny and it needs to be addressed.
“I wish the young woman a speedy recovery and I hope she is okay following her horrific ordeal,” he said.