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Exclusive: 'My horror at hammer attack'

Danielle Halligan was battered in a hammer attack after falling into a debt trap created by merciless money lenders
Danielle Halligan was battered in a hammer attack after falling into a debt trap created by merciless money lenders

This is the brutal reality of life under the thumb of a loan shark.

Danielle Halligan was battered in a hammer attack after falling into a debt trap created by merciless money lenders.

These horrific injuries were inflicted after she had failed to meet the loan sharks’ demands for more cash.

It started after €300 loan spiralled out of control to the point where she “didn’t own her dole money anymore”.

“I got a loan off him. It started off at €300 and he kept giving me money. It came to the stage where I didn’t own my own dole,” she told the Sunday World.

“I had to have my sister provide for me and my boys,” she added.

This week she was furious after her nephew was jailed for making threats to one of the people accused of intimidating her.

Last year, the man accused of the hammer attack was acquitted of the assault in Waterford.

Danielle Halligan 

She said she made a statement to gardaí about a man threatening to shoot her, but that “nothing was done about that”.

“They can go around and do what they want to people and get away with it,” she said.

She claimed the treatment of her nephew is in stark contrast to the people she blames for the campaign of terror against her and members of her family.

Danielle has previously told the Sunday World how she and her family have been put through hell after she was attacked in 2013.

She was forced to move out of her home, her sister had a knife held to her throat, a young relative had to leave a sports club because threats were made to burn it down.

Her brother was also run over while cycling on his bike, two of her friends, including a local politician, had their cars petrol-bombed and her mother’s home was attacked. Danielle also said she was told she would be shot dead.

 “So my two children and I ended up homeless. We had to stay in a shelter for homeless women and children.”

“My whole life has been turned upside down. First I lost my home and when I went to stay with family, threats were made to burn the home of any family member who put me or my children up,” she said

 “So my two children and I ended up homeless. We had to stay in a shelter for homeless women and children.”

 Danielle said she tried to get on with her life, but couldn’t. 

 “My nerves were gone and I just could not cope. I was and still am constantly in fear for my life,” she said.

She said she had a mental health breakdown as a result and had to spend a week in a psychiatric ward. She added that she was told there was a €30,000 contract on her head. 

“I thought I was dead. I was and still am so scared. I don’t think I will be the same. I’d love one full night’s sleep and to be able to bring my kids to the park.

“Before the attack, I was very proud of my appearance and always made an effort putting on make-up. Now I can no longer wear eye make-up due to the damage to my eye and I am always conscious when people are looking at me.

“But I just had to get over this for the sake of my children and this is nothing compared to the constant fear that me and my children live in every day our lives.”

Last year Michael ‘Mongo’ Stokes (26), from Clonard Park in Waterford, was acquitted of carrying out the attack on Danielle Halligan. 

His defence team accepted Danielle suffered serious injuries to the head and eye as a result of an attack, but said Mongo was not involved. 

During the trial a number of Stokes’s associates turned up and the judge had to stop them making remarks to Danielle.