Omagh nurse fights for life after being stabbed in head
This is the face of the 23-year-old Tyrone nurse who was fighting for her life in hospital last night after being stabbed in the head by a man who knocked on her door.
Tracy Monteith, from Omagh, was attacked as she answered the door of her new home on the outskirts of the town just after 5am yesterday morning.
Miss Monteith was left in a critical condition after the vicious attack in the sleepy terraced housing row of Cappagh Villas.
Another man, who was taken to Altnagevin Hospital, sustained injuries to his head, face and body in the scuffle which followed the stabbing.
It is understood the young woman’s parents Mervyn and Marie and her sister Lara were keeping a bedside vigil at the Royal Victoria Hospital.
Tracy, and her partner Brian Moore, were believed to have had some friends at their home, which they had recently moved into, for a house-warming party earlier on Saturday evening. However, the peace of their new rural idyll was shattered by the shocking attack on Sunday morning.
The scene at the small residential area just outside Omagh was one of disbelief yesterday, with neighbours from the 14 nearby homes who gathered at the police cordon in Cappagh Road, simply looking on in bewilderment at the scene of such a horrific crime.
An early morning row woke the couple living next door but never in their worst nightmares did they imagine the shouting was in fact that of a woman being stabbed.
“I woke up about 5am and heard a commotion,” said a father-of-two who has lived in Cappagh Villas for the past 33 years.
“There were people arguing but I didn’t get up or look out the window.
“It wasn’t until we got up this morning that we saw the police and realised something terrible had happened.”
While police said they were not treating the incident as a domestic one. Neighbours and close family members of the young victim could offer no possible explanation for the violent assault.
A 27-year-old woman, who has lived in the area for the past five years with her partner and two young sons, said she woke up to a scene of horror yesterday morning.
“I took my four-year-old son in at 8.30pm and saw three people outside the house,” said the young mother.
“This morning my son went to the window and said ‘Mummy look at all the policemen’. I couldn’t believe it when I heard what happened.”
Peaceful rural community awakes to shock of brutal morning attack
Sitting on the outskirts of Omagh town among some of Northern Ireland’s most picturesque, lush green landscapes, Cappagh Villas is a sleepy rural idyll.
But yesterday morning the faces of Tracy Monteith’s neighbours painted a different picture after the peace and quiet they had known all their lives was horrifically torn apart with the screams of a woman being viciously attacked.
Men, women and children stood in shock as police and forensic workers carried out an investigation into the appalling crime on an otherwise calm Sunday morning.
Just yards from a children’s playground and less than half a mile away from Cappagh Church of Ireland, the setting could not be less suited to the harsh reality of the early morning violence.
Most of the area’s residents have lived there all their lives and had barely got to know their new neighbours before the weekend’s events.
One woman said she had never felt the need to lock her doors until recently, because she felt so safe living there.
Local councillor Bert Wilson said the entire community was in a state of shock.
“It’s a quiet area full of hard-working people,” he said.
“There is never any bother like this here. We just don’t know what could have led to this.”