Belfast Telegraph

Fermanagh teenager's lung cut open during horrific machete attack

Geraldine Maughan's relative Elizabeth Joyce (Credit: BBC NI)
Geraldine Maughan's relative Elizabeth Joyce (Credit: BBC NI)

The man who launched a horrific machete attack on a 13-year-old girl in Co Fermanagh cut the teenager so deep that her lung was sliced open, her family have revealed.

Geraldine Maughan was trying to protect her baby nephew when she was stabbed by a gang of men at her home in Trasna Way in Lisnakea at around 9pm on Saturday.

Geraldine threw herself on top of her 11-month-old nephew as a "laughing" middle aged man struck her with the blade.

It understood Geraldine required 300 stitches to heal her wounds.

Her sister Pauline, 20, the child's mother, has told how air was leaking from Geraldine's back as she tried to breathe after the vicious assault.

“Her lung collapsed right away. The way she has been cut means she can’t walk now and has to learn to walk again," she told The Sun.

“She’ll be in hospital for weeks. Her back won’t be the same for about 12 months.

A 13-year-old girl holds a towel to her chest after being stabbed
A 13-year-old girl holds a towel to her chest after being stabbed

“She’s very frightened from what happened. She was just sitting there and they just walked in and two of them started hitting at her.

“It’s disgraceful, grown men doing that to a girl and baby.”

Police are treating the incident as attempted murder.

Elizabeth Joyce, the boy's grandmother, appealed for no retaliation.

“I think they waited and saw my lads going out of the estate and then they came.

“They thought my husband would be here and came for him but he wasn’t here either.”

The mum-of-six, who has four sons, added: “They came through the door and two of them were attacking at a 13-year-old girl, my daughter-in-law’s sister.

“All of them had the machetes. I’ll never forget because that man, a grown man, was laughing as he hit that girl.

"One of them came at me and I stood up because I knew they would be slicing me up.

“I got up to stop him getting any proper hits at me. I started fighting back because the instinct for survival got in my head.

"When I started fighting back I grabbed for a picture frame and hit him hard in the face.”

She added: “He pulled his mask up then, a balaclava, and I could see who he was. He was backing away to the door.

“The other two had black hats but I could see their faces.”

She said the men ran out to where they had left their car at the top of a hill.

Ms Joyce, described Geraldine as a "legend".

"She’s a hero, a fighter," she added.

“When I came back to the house I grabbed the little fella first and checked him over and he was fine.

“Then I checked Geraldine and she was destroyed. You could see the blood spitting out of the back of the girl where her lung was split.

“I got on the phone to the boys and said ‘we’re cut up’ and called an ambulance.”

Her husband Gramsey Joyce said that he was a distance away in the estate but said he "heard the screams".

He said: “They were already gone when I got here. I came in and I was just thinking it was the smell of death.

“It made me think of a car crash we were in and there had been blood and it was like that, blood everywhere and I could smell death.

“But thankfully no one was killed.”

He said he believed that the attackers “came to kill me".

PSNI detective sergeant Keith Monaghan said police are determined to find those responsible for the attack.

"We have several lines of enquiry we are progressing 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," he said.

"The number to call is 101 and the reference number is 1650 16/11/19."

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