A young mother who was attacked in Letterkenny has been subjected to such extreme online abuse that she has had to delete her Facebook page.
Shauna McHugh, aged 24, appeared as a victim in a case at the Letterkenny Circuit Court last Friday. The court heard how the young woman had an aerosol can sprayed in her face and set alight, causing severe burns to her forehead and damaging here eyes.
Since the case, Ms McHugh has been personally attacked by vile online trolls, who criticised her for wearing make-up on the day in court, and claim that she is telling lies for financial gain.
Many other commenters have sympathised with Shauna, saying that nobody deserved to face such violence. “What a nightmare for the poor girl, hope you can get on with your life now and follow your dreams.” one comment says.
Ms Mc Hugh was attacked in Letterkenny on Rally Weekend in June last year. The attacker, Kevin Quinn, 23, was at Gallagher’s Hotel when he knocked on a room door, and when Ms McHugh answered he lit a deodorant can and sprayed the flames into her face.
The court heard that the attacked was not provoked, as Quinn did not know Ms McHugh. He quickly fled the hotel before being found and arrested by gardai.
Since the incident, the young woman has been left with severe scarring on her face and has been so traumatised that she had to give up her pharmaceutical science degree course as she became upset when using Bunsen burners during class experiments.
“I couldn’t sleep for about two months, I kept reliving that night over and over again,” said Ms McHugh.
Judge O’Hagan commented that Ms Mc Hugh’s burns on her face were “still clearly visible”. The judge also said Ms McHugh, who now works as an optician’s assistant, continued to suffer the psychological effects of the attack.
The court case in Letterkenny saw Quinn of Killycanavan Road, Dungannon, Co Tyrone being sentenced to two years in prison. The last year was suspended.