Independent councillor says she feared for her life after she and her husband were attacked

Attack happened in Blanchardstown early on Wednesday when they were erecting local election posters

An Independent councillor has said she feared for her life after she and her husband were violently attacked while they were out erecting local election posters in west Dublin earlier this week.

Tania Doyle, who currently sits on Fingal County Council, said the incident happened on the Hartstown Road in Blanchardstown in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Ms Doyle had just finished erecting posters with her husband Derek, aged in his 50s, and one of her friends, when they were approached by two men, one of whom began asking her views on immigration and started to video her.

“He started screaming in my face and put the phone up to my face, and tried to video me … I had given him my answer on immigration and my husband asked him to put his phone away,” she said.


“Then it just went chaotic, he leaped at us, there were punches and kicks and complete violence. It went on for about 15 minutes and it just wouldn’t stop. I pleaded with him to stop, I told him my husband has health issues, problems with his heart, he is epileptic and takes seizures.

“I stood in front of him and he was swiping, kicking, attacking us. I took a blow to the side of the head. My husband did try and protect himself, any man would. I was so terrified. All I could think was that we’re never going to get out of this, we’re dead. At one point he punched my husband to the ground. I’d never come across such anger and such violence in all my life.”

Ms Doyle, who was first elected to the council in 2019, said the other man eventually tried to restrain the attacker, which allowed them to flee.

“There was blood all over my husband’s face. It wasn’t quick, it was a violent attack that lasted about 15 minutes. We’re absolutely shattered. He smashed my husband’s glasses into his face and wouldn’t stop. My left arm, shoulder and body are sore, my wrist and hands are swollen. My husband and I are on painkillers for the muscular pain. My husband said his body feels like he’s been hit by a bus. It was a terrifying experience.”

Ms Doyle said the attack did make her consider not running in the upcoming local elections next month, but she was encouraged by her family and friends to continue with her campaign.

“We’ve given statements to gardaí, we went to our GP, and I did get out to do a canvass yesterday for a couple of hours and I wore sunglasses as my eyes are red in my head. I will be back out, definitely. My team and friends took over for the last few days, but to be honest I can’t wait for the next three weeks to be over.”

Gardaí in Blanchardstown said they were investigating the incident and investigations were ongoing.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times