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'Shocking' Olympian Jack Woolley's mum says he chose not to fight back during brutal attack

Annette Woolley still hasn’t been able to visit her son in hospital because of Covid restrictions

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Jack Woolley in St James's Hospital Dublin after being attacked

Jack Woolley in St James's Hospital Dublin after being attacked

Jack Woolley posted this picture on Instagram minutes after he was attacked

Jack Woolley posted this picture on Instagram minutes after he was attacked

Jack Woolley in competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile

Jack Woolley in competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile

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Jack Woolley in St James's Hospital Dublin after being attacked

THE mother of Irish Olympian Jack Woolley has expressed her shock after her son was viciously attacked in Dublin city centre.

The Olympic taekwondo fighter was attacked by a gang of eight to 12 people who assaulted a number of people on Dublin’s Liffey boardwalk on Friday night.

Horrific pictures taken after the incident showed the Olympian badly beaten with blood all over his clothes.

The 22-year-old’s mother Annette Woolley said the pictures of her son are “shocking”, and admitted she couldn’t look at the images of her son until the next day when she realised the gravity of the incident.

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Jack Woolley posted this picture on Instagram minutes after he was attacked

Jack Woolley posted this picture on Instagram minutes after he was attacked

Jack Woolley posted this picture on Instagram minutes after he was attacked

“After Jack had called the ambulance, he called me and explained what had happened – he said did I want to see the pictures to see how bad it was and I said no,” she said.

“It was the next morning before I realised how bad it was,” she told Brendan O’Connor on RTÉ Radio One.

The Olympian’s mother said not looking at the images stopped her from panicking,

“He was upset and he couldn’t talk very well but I could still understand him, so he was alive and his life wasn’t being threatened,” said Ms Woolley.

Ms Woolley said her son was “much more concerned about the other people who were attacked because their injuries were so much worse than his."

The family believe that the incident was a random attack, and said “it really couldn’t have been” a targeted attack because five other people were assaulted at the same time.

“It was just wrong place wrong time, we honestly believe that, we don’t think he knows who it was,” she said.

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Jack Woolley in competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile

Jack Woolley in competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile

Jack Woolley in competition at the Tokyo Olympics. Picture: Sportsfile

Ms Woolley said despite her son being an Olympic taekwondo fighter, he choose not to fight back.

“It all happened in a split second, but as soon as he registered what had happened, the initial shock of it happening - he said it flashed through his head: ‘Do I fight back and defend myself, do I not?’,” Mrs Woolley said.

Due to Covid restrictions, Mrs Woolley said she has still not been able to see her son, who is in hospital due to Covid-19 restrictions.

“Due to Covid restrictions, nobody’s been allowed in, we haven’t even been able to go down and drop anything off for him,” said Ms Woolley.

Jack, from Jobstown in Dublin, was heartbroken after losing his opening 58kg fight in the dying seconds to Argentina’s Lucas Guzman at the Tokyo Olympics.

Woolley created history just by being at the competition, Ireland’s first ever representative in Olympic taekwondo.

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