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Hammer horror Woman left with 'permanent black eye' after shocking hammer attack on busy street

Shocking lunchtime attack on busy shopping street left me with permanent marks, nightmares and in fear of going to town alone, beaten victim reveals

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The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

These are the shocking injuries suffered by a woman who said she thought she and her daughter were 'going to die' in a terrifying hammer attack on a busy shopping street.

Julie and Tracey Quinn McDonagh were both injured when John Nevin landed blows with a hammer.

The sudden and violent assault has since left both women frightened, traumatised and fearful to go out alone.

It happened in Mullingar in February last year as the pair had a heated discussion outside a tanning studio with Nevin's wife Mary, a court heard this week.

The assault, which lasted a few seconds, was caught on CCTV which showed Nevin wildly swinging his arm into the women a number of times.

Innocent shoppers and children were walking by the scene of the Friday lunchtime attack on the town's Patrick Street.

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John Nevin admitted the attack on the two women.

John Nevin admitted the attack on the two women.

John Nevin admitted the attack on the two women.

The footage was shown at Mullingar Circuit Court at a sentence hearing this week. Nevin had already pleaded guilty to assaulting the women.

Tracey was taken from the scene by ambulance while her mother was also treated in A&E for bruising and swelling. Nevin went to the gardaí an hour and a half after the attack where he made a statement admitting his involvement.

"I thought we were going to die," said Julie at the hearing this week, where she read her victim impact statement.

"It's been over a year now since the attack and my life has changed ever since. I have a permanent black eye and a white scar between my eyes.

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The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

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"Every morning I look in the mirror it reminds me of what happened."

"I have nightmares since, and some nights can't go to sleep for hours. I can't go up town on my own. I always have to have my husband with me. I am always looking over my shoulder."

She added that her ability to deal with her Crohn's Disease has been hit by the attack which has left her fearful to go for exercise.

"I don't feel safe in my own home anymore.

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The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

"We had to get TV cameras installed in our home since this happened. We put our house up for sale because I don't feel safe in our own hometown where I've lived all my life."

She said that another daughter who was only eight years old at the time said she wouldn't go into the same room as her because she couldn't bear to look at her mammy's face. "She started crying and told me when she heard I was attacked she thought I was going to die," Julie said.

Tracey said: "I thought he was going to kill us."

She said: "My mother is not the same person since the attack. She used to be a jolly person and we used to have a laugh together but not no more."

She added: "She is always ringing me to see where I am and if I don't answer the phone she thinks something has happened to me."

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The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

The physical injuries Julie Quinn McDonagh suffered from.

Tracey also detailed how her pregnancy last year was all the more difficult because of the back pain she has suffered since the attack.

"I suffered a lot of pain when I was pregnant because I couldn't take any painkillers only paracetamol, which didn't take the pain away."

She also said that she and her husband plan to leave the town as well with her family.

"We used to live in a caravan and when this happened we sold our caravan and moved in with my grandfather because we didn't feel safe in our own home," she said.

Nevin apologised to the women from the witness stand, saying: "If I could take it back I would."

He said that he thought his wife was being attacked and he acted out of panic when he emerged from his Ford Galaxy car with what he said was a safety hammer that came with the car.

"I just panicked I didn't know what was going to happen with my wife," Nevin said. The court heard that he is a dedicated family man who takes a direct role in caring for his four young children including a daughter who has significant medical issues and needs constant care.

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The court heard Nevin is a dedicated family man.

The court heard Nevin is a dedicated family man.

The court heard Nevin is a dedicated family man.

None of his 20 previous minor convictions involved violence and he volunteers as a boxing coach, a sport in which he once represented his country.

His defence lawyer said the attack was a "spontaneous" ­reaction and there was no suggestion that it had been ­premeditated and that €2,000 in compensation had been brought to the court.

Judge Keenan Johnson described the attack as "a serious assault" and said that the use of a hammer was "a sinister and aggravating factor".

He remanded Nevin in custody until Thursday.

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