Belfast Telegraph

Girl (13) injured in Lisnaskea machete attack 'needed 300 stitches'

A 13-year-old girl was critically injured after being attacked by a gang of men armed with machetes in County Fermanagh
A 13-year-old girl was critically injured after being attacked by a gang of men armed with machetes in County Fermanagh

A 13-year-old girl critically injured in a horrific machete attack in Co Fermanagh suffered a collapsed lung and required 300 stitches for wounds to her back, a family member has said.

The girl has been hailed as a hero after trying to protect her baby nephew from a gang of masked men who forced their way into a house in Trasna Way in Lisnakea on Saturday night.

A graphic video of the attack which has appeared online shows the 13-year-old's injuries, including a deep wound on her back.

She is now in a stable condition in hospital, while her mother, Elizabeth Joyce (41), was also treated for a stab wounds to her leg, but has since been discharged.

An 11-month-old baby inside the house at the time was unhurt.

Police are treating the attack as attempted murder.

Speaking to the BBC, Pauline Joyce, the girl's aunt, said her injuries are severe.

"She got 300 stitches in her back. She had a collapse lung and will be in bed for six weeks - she won't be allowed to go to school for nine to 10 months," she said.

"She's in a very bad condition in the hospital and she wants justice for what happened to her."

Fr Jimmy McPhillips, a priest in Lisnaskea, said: "[The attack] has horrified the community and greatly disturbed this town, a community that by and large lives very peacefully together.

"All nationalities and cultures are represented within this community and comfortably live together. "We are praying that this indiscriminate attack is a one off."

It is understood the family are members of the Travelling community and the attack may be linked to a dispute.

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

"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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