Shanan Reid McDaid appeared on RTE Today to bring national attention to her story and the issue of random violence.
Assault victim Shanan Reid Mc Daid has said she is afraid to be alone and is still trying to deal with her anxiety after her unprovoked attack in Letterkenny earlier this month.
On Thursday’s edition of RTE Today, the 18-year-old recalled the shocking sequence of events which led to her assault off Letterkenny Main Street after a night out on October 15th.
She recalled an unknown man shouting names at her before punching her to the ground and hitting her 7-9 times.
Shanan spoke of her fears that she would die that night. “You don’t know when the person is going to stop, or if they are going to,” she said.
“He stopped midway and I was crying and said: ‘Can you please stop?’ but then he just continued and I didn’t know what was going to happen.”
Almost two weeks on from the incident, Shanan said she now worries about being in public:
“I am nervous when I’m out walking, even in Galway because I go to college there. I wouldn’t like to be alone but it’s just something that I’m going to have to deal with and get over eventually,” Shanan said.
Shanan revealed how she put her faith in social media in the hope of finding her attacker. She said she posted the graphic Facebook post hoping that someone local would know a taxi driver who may have information.
“People have come forward I think, but I don’t know much,” Shanan said on the investigation.
Gardai in Letterkenny are seeking a man matching Shanan’s description:
The suspect is described as, male, mid-thirties, clean shaven, 5’9”, average build, dirty blonde hair gelled back with dark bottoms, shirt buttoned to top and navy blazer.
Sunday Times Crime Correspondent John Mooney joined Shanan on the Today Show, commenting that this type of attack is commonplace across Ireland each weekend.
“It’s a real issue of violence, as opposed to random attacks,” Mr Mooney said.
He said random acts of violence are no longer confined to cities. “The fact that someone would be significantly assaulted in Letterkenny wouldn’t surprise anybody,” he said.
Mr Mooney said the typical profile of attackers is not so common anymore and a wide spectrum of people engage in this type of offending.
It’s an increasing phenomenon, he said, and a major problem is that people do not report the attacks to Gardai.
Mr Mooney said that victims of random acts of violence often have to put pressure on gardai to follow up leads. He acknowledged that the onus may be on Shanan to ensure continued action is taken in the investigation.
He added that he would anticipate that there would probably be arrests in this particular case.
Shanan said the attack has caused worry for her parents and, while she hopes to deal with the impact personally, it has caused her to be more cautious.
“I wouldn’t like to think this will have affected me in any way. I want to continue as if it never happened. I wouldn’t like it to stop me from doing anything,” she said.
If you have information about this incident, contact Letterkenny Garda Station on +353 74 9167100 or call the Garda Confidential Line on 1800666111