Belfast Telegraph

Sunday Life

Machete attack on teenager who shielded baby nephew linked to traveller feud

Teenager set to return home

Geraldine Maughan is currently recovering in hospital.
Geraldine Maughan is currently recovering in hospital.

By Christopher Woodhouse

The teenage girl who suffered horrific injuries in the Fermanagh machete attack as she protected her baby nephew is due to return home early this week.

Brave Geraldine Maughan is currently recovering from treatment for a collapsed lung and a significant wound to her back which required 300 stitches.

A family member told Sunday Life yesterday they expected her to be released from the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen in the coming days.

The 13-year-old was attacked at an address on Trasna Way in Lisnaskea by a gang of men last weekend.

Her lung collapsed as a result of the horror assault and she needed 300 stitches.

She was shielding her 11-month-old nephew John Joyce as they struck her with machetes. The men are thought to have been looking for her grandfather David 'Gramsey' Joyce, who is bare-knuckle boxer.

The attack is believed to be linked to a feud between Traveller families.

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Her grandmother, Elizabeth Joyce, who has appealed for no retaliation, has described her as a hero for protecting her godson.

The mum-of-six said: "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 started fighting back. I grabbed for a picture frame and hit him hard in the face.

"She's 13-years-old and she threw her whole self over that baby and she saved his life."

Harrowing videos of the attack and the wound were shared on social media last week. Three men have been charged in Co Westmeath in connection with the attack. They were arrested after threats to kill and cause serious harm were made on social media

The news comes as a man accused on social media of being responsible for the attack hit back online in a video denying the claims.

The man, who cannot be named for legal reasons, said in the recording that he had seen a photograph of the girl's injuries and was "sorry the young one was cut".

"Neither me, nor my two sons was down in Lisnaskea last night ... I genuine don't know who did it," he said.

"I'm very sorry to what happened to you and God bless the young one."

In another video aimed at an accuser, the man said he "would get" him for making what he maintains are false allegations against him.

"I'll put my right hand up here, I did not go down there and do any harm," he said.

"I genuine don't know who went down, who got beat."

He claims he believed the attack was a case of mistaken identity and that neither him nor the accuser could know who carried out the brutal assault.

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