Belfast Telegraph

Monday 21 April 2014

Chicago stunned by attack on Northern Ireland student

Natasha McShane was hit from behind by a thug wielding a baseball bat in USA

Chicago citizens have rallied to the support of the parents of a young Northern Ireland woman as she fights for her life following a vicious late night attack in the US city.

The parents of Natasha McShane, from Silverbridge in Co Armagh, are continuing their vigil at her hospital bedside.

The 23-year-old UCD student remains in a critical condition.

Natasha and her friend Stacy Jurich (24) were on their way home in the early hours of last Friday morning when they were attacked from behind by a robber wielding an aluminium baseball bat.

The horrific attack has been widely reported in the Illinois newspapers and on television.

Natasha's parents Sheila and Liam arrived in Chicago on Sunday and are being supported by family and friends who have flown in from Australia and New York.

Staff and customers at Butch McGuire's, the Irish bar in Chicago where Natasha worked part-time, have donated money and offered to hold fundraisers to support her family.

The Chicagoans are also organising accommodation for them during their stay.

Landlord Bobby McGuire described Natasha as a “very nice, outgoing, intelligent young lady”.

Her friends at the University of Illinois, where she was on a student exchange programme, have asked for donations to help cover her medical, travel and other expenses.

Meanwhile, locals living in the city’s Bucktown neighbourhood, where the vicious attack took place have been distributing leaflets appealing for anyone with information to come forward. A Chicago Police Department spokesman confirmed yesterday that there have been no arrests in the case and said their investigation is continuing.

A spokesperson for Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where Natasha is a patient, said last night that she remained critically ill.

Stacy is in a serious condition in the same hospital.

Natasha, the eldest of five children, arrived in Chicago at the start of the year and had been studying urban planning.

She recently learned that she had secured an internship which would extend her stay in the US and was returning home from a night out celebrating when she and Stacy were attacked.

Miss Jurich, originally from Oak Forest, Illinois, had been living in Bucktown.

Latest News

Latest Sport

Latest Showbiz