Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 December 2014

Violinist's wife mauled by dogs

By Lesley-Anne Henry

Darragh Morgan and his concert pianist wife Mary Dullea
Darragh Morgan and his concert pianist wife Mary Dullea

A Ulster violinist's wife has been attacked by dogs as she walked down a London street with their baby boy.

Darragh Morgan (34), who is from Belfast, described how his wife, Mary Dullea, had been bitten to the bone in the savage attack near their home.

The 35-year-old concert pianist, who’s career could now be in jeopardy, had been walking home with the couple’s 19-month-old son in the Plumstead Common area of London when she was set upon.

She suffered deep wounds to her arms and legs as the dogs, described as Staffordshire Bull terrier-types, launched their vicious assault.

Ms Dullea is expected to undergo a third operation in hospital to repair the bites which went so deep they ruptured muscles.

Baby Daithi who had been asleep in his pram, narrowly escaped injury after it was toppled to the ground in the opposite direction to the dogs.

“Our moods are swinging from shock, to anger at the owner. There's also a huge amount of relief that it wasn't worse,” Mr Morgan said.

“Her mobility is better but she's on morphine. It is too early to discuss whether she will make a full recovery.”

Mr Morgan, a concerto soloist who has performed with the Spice Girls, Paul McCartney and David Bowie as well as the Ulster Orchestra, was on stage in Lisbon at the time but returned to England immediately after hearing the news.

He has since cancelled a nine-day tour of Ireland to look after his distressed wife and son.

Mr Morgan added: “She was on the floor immediately. The dogs just latched onto her arm and leg and mauled her for two minutes.

“The baby was the priority, motherly instinct just kicked in. While being mauled she never once let go of the pram. We're just thankful the baby was asleep and made no noise, otherwise who knows.”

It is understood Mrs Dullea had been walking home from a performance to raise awareness for an arts cafe near her home at about 11pm on September 27.

While being mauled she never once let go of the pram

“They just turned on me, knocking me to the floor and the baby’s buggy was knocked over too,” Mrs Morgan.

“I had one attached to my arm, another to my leg and I had things racing through my mind.

She was taken to hospital and had to have two operations to repair bites that had ruptured her muscles.

She is expected to undergo another operation tomorrow.

“The first thought was my baby — as long as they were on me they couldn’t attack him. Mercifully he was still asleep. The second was my career and if I’d ever be able to play again. I just had to lie there and wait for them to stop,” she told the Evening Standard.

The attack only ended when the dogs' owner hit the dogs with a lead. It is understood neighbours attempted to chase the dogs’ owner but failed to apprehend him.

Police in London have launched an investigation into the incident.

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