Machete victim ‘a hero for saving baby’, grandmother says

Girl (13) suffered severe injuries during knife attack by gang of men in Co Fermanagh

The PSNI said a number of men armed with machetes broke into the house at Trasna Way in Lisnaskea on Saturday. File photograph: iStock

The PSNI said a number of men armed with machetes broke into the house at Trasna Way in Lisnaskea on Saturday. File photograph: iStock

 

The 13-year-old girl who was seriously injured in a machete attack in Co Fermanagh is a “hero” who saved her baby nephew’s life.

The baby’s grandmother, Elizabeth Joyce, told BBC Radio Ulster that the 11-month-old was unharmed “because his auntie is a hero”.

Ms Joyce said: “She’s 13 years old and she threw her whole self over that baby and she saved his life.”

The Police Service of Northern Ireland (PSNI) said a number of men armed with machetes broke into the house at Trasna Way in Lisnaskea at about 9.15 pm on Saturday.

“They burst through my door going for my little grandson,” said Ms Joyce. “He’s 11 months old, the auntie of the baby, she’s 13, she threw herself on top of the baby to save the baby.

“We were screaming, trying to fight [them] off.”

Ms Joyce tried to fight off the attackers and chased them out of the house. She said the girl’s back had been sliced open with a machete. “I thought she was going to die on my chair,” she said. “They tried to kill us in our own home.”

The teenager, who received serious stab wounds, was taken to hospital where she was in a “critical but stable” condition. She is now “ill but stable”, the Western Health and Social Care Trust said.

Ms Joyce was treated for stab wound to her leg but has since been discharged.

The police are treating the attack as attempted murder.

PSNI Det Sgt Keith Monaghan said it “must have been a terrifying ordeal for those involved” and that the force was determined to find the men responsible.

“We have several lines of enquiry which we are progressing at this time but I would ask anyone with information or who noticed any suspicious activity in the area to contact detectives in Enniskillen and pass that information on,” the officer added.

‘Horrendous’

Fermanagh Sinn Féin councillor Sheamus Greene said the attack was “horrendous”. He offered his sympathy to the family and said he hoped the teenager would recover from her injuries.

Local SDLP councillor Garbhan McPhillips said people were shocked by brutality of the attack.

“I am angry that something like this could happen. For anybody to break into a house and stab anybody, never mind a 13-year-old girl, is horrific. I don’t what would be going through their heads that they would do something like that. It is unbelievable, to be honest,” he said.

“My thoughts are with the family and please God the girl makes a full recovery. It was an awful ordeal they went through.”

Alliance Fermanagh representative Matthew Beaumont said whoever carried out an attack needs to be caught quickly and to to face justice.

“This attack in Lisnaskea, carried out by men carrying machetes, is to be condemned in the strongest possible terms,” he said. “This must have been a terrifying experience for [the two victims].”