Dublin girl blinded in one eye in attack says ‘assault will forever impact my life’

"Sometimes I wish I never woke up from when I was hit with that object," she added.

Alannah Quinn Idris© Paddy Cummins - PCPhoto.ie

Alanna Quinn Idris. Photo: Paddy Cummins© Paddy Cummins - PCPhoto.ie

Darragh Lyons (19), of Weir View, Glenaulin, Chapelizod, Dublin. File photo: Paddy Cummins/IrishPhotoDesk.ie© Paddy Cummins - IrishPhotodesk.i

Robin SchillerIndependent.ie

A teenager who was left blind in one eye and knocked unconscious after a gang attack has said: "Sometimes I wish I never woke up from when I was hit."

Alanna Quinn Idris was 17-years-old when she and a friend were set upon by four males in an unprovoked attack in Ballyfermot on December 30, 2021.

Today Darragh Lyons (19), of Glenaulin in Chapezliod, appeared before Dublin Circuit Court over his role in the gang assault.

The court heard the defendant turned 18 on the day he punched Ms Quinn Idris in the face before later jumping over her unconscious body to attack her friend.

He will be sentenced tomorrow after pleading guilty to assault causing serious harm and violent disorder.

Darragh Lyons (19), of Weir View, Glenaulin, Chapelizod, Dublin. File photo: Paddy Cummins/IrishPhotoDesk.ie© Paddy Cummins - IrishPhotodesk.i

Evidence was also heard that the suspect who hit Ms Quinn Idris in the face with an e-scooter saddle and knocked her unconscious has never been identified.

The victim was present in court today, supported by family members, and outlined the lasting impact the vicious assault has had on her.

She said the "awful attack" has set her life on a different course and that it destroyed both her confidence and her chance of having a normal life.

"I do not look or feel like the same person," Ms Quinn Idris told the court.

"The life I was supposed to live was taken away from me before I turned 18.

"Nothing ever prepared me for the night of December 30. Life as I knew it came to an abrupt end.

"I was the victim of a vicious and unnecessary assault that will forever impact my life from that day forward."

She described having to live the rest of her life disabled, and how the woman she was supposed to be "died that night".

"Sometimes I wish I never woke up from when I was hit with that object," she added.

Alannah Quinn Idris celebrating after getting her Leaving Cert results

Garda Ciaran Murray, of Ballyfermot garda station, outlined the events of the night of the attack to prosecutor Edward Doocey BL this morning.

He said that Ms Quinn Idris and her friend Louis O'Sullivan had alighted from a bus in Ballyfermot when there was a verbal dispute with another male.

The man is currently before the courts and was referred to as Suspect A.

Later the two teenage victims returned to a friend's home on Ballyfermot Road while Suspect A contacted other males to attend the scene.

The court heard Darragh Lyons, and two other teenagers referred to as Suspect B and Suspect C, arrived with the defendant the first to cross the road towards the victims.

Gda Murray said that Suspect B was armed with a hurl while Suspect C removed a saddle from an electric scooter.

One of the men shouted at Mr O'Sullivan "do you want a knock" while Lyons said "do you want a straightener".

Ms Quinn Idris got in between him and her friend and shoved Darragh Lyons, who retaliated by punching her in the face which knocked her backwards.

The court heard Suspects B and C continued to attack Louis O'Sullivan with the hurl and saddle while Suspect A watched events.

Gda Murray said Ms Quinn Idris regained her footing and attempted to stop them.

Alanna Quinn Idris. Photo: Paddy Cummins© Paddy Cummins - PCPhoto.ie

Suspect C then struck her in the face with the saddle using a "baseball-style swing", causing her to fall to the ground and immediately lose consciousness.

The court heard Lyons then shouted "stab him lads" and jumped over Ms Quinn Idris, who was lying prone on the ground, to continue the attack on Mr O'Sullivan.

The attack lasted one minute during which he was kicked and punched in the head, struck eight times with the hurl, seven times with the saddle, and stabbed once.

CCTV footage of the incident was also played to the court with Gda Murray saying the attack only stopped when passing motorists intervened and the four suspects fled the scene.

Two other men are before the court while Suspect C has not been identified.

As a result of the incident Ms Quinn Idris lost the vision in her right eye and will need a new eye for what Judge Martin Nolan said were aesthetic purposes.

The victim today thanked the local community and gardaí, in particular Gda Murray, for their support and pleaded with Judge Nolan to consider the impact the assault has had on her life when delivering sentence.

Dean Kelly SC, defending, said his client was requested to attend the scene by the other male to "back him up" and accepted there would be some trouble or violence.

Counsel said that the "very serious injuries" inflicted on the victim were "definitively inflicted by others" and that his client's guilty plea was on the basis of a joint enterprise.

He said Darragh Lyons bears moral and criminal responsibility for what happened to Ms Quinn Idris but added the state's position is that he did not physically inflict those injuries.

Mr Kelly added that his client was not armed at any point, and said he was instructed to repeat Lyons' apology to the victim.

Judge Martin Nolan said he would take into account his general involvement and assess the level of culpability, while also considering the early guilty plea, his remorse, and his lack of previous convictions.

He adjourned sentencing to tomorrow afternoon and remanded the defendant on continuing bail.

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