'I feel sorry for thieves who mugged me in city centre attack', says model Thalia Heffernan
Model Thalia Heffernan "feels sorry" for the thieves that mugged her.
The Dublin beauty (21) was robbed by a gang of teens while she walked to an early morning modelling job in the city in what she has described as a "hurtful" experience.
"They've probably never been robbed themselves, but they've been brought up in that environment, which is upsetting," Thalia said.
"I sympathise with them because they don't know much else, but at the end of the day I've earned my belongings and my possessions, and to have them taken in that kind of aggressive way was quite hurtful for me."
The Ranelagh native was walking down Mercer Street at 4.20am on Tuesday when she was targeted by a young girl who hit her in the face while she tried to steal her handbag, and was then helped to commit the crime by a gang of friends.
"I was walking to work because my internet was down and I couldn't order a taxi. It wasn't a long walk," the model said.
"As I turned on to Mercer Street I saw a group of young teenagers who didn't seem to be causing much hassle, but as I walked further I noticed they were walking closer to me. One particular girl asked me if I had a cigarette - I wasn't smoking - but it was obviously an excuse to get me to look at my bag or open my bag. I told her no and that's when she went to reach for my bag"
Although the culprits got away with the handbag, the catwalk star said she put up a good fight against the thieves.
"I think I actually gave the female thief a bit of a run for her money without realising. When they did grab the bag off me I managed to rip a pocket off it," she said.
Thalia admitted she has been left shaken after the mugging, which is being investigated by gardai, and said she is more afraid to walk around Dublin than ever before.
"I definitely was shaken. I just wasn't expecting it to happen to me. You hear about it all the time, but you never think it would happen to yourself or on your route to work," Thalia told the Brendan O'Connor Show on RTE Radio One.
"I've always been quite an independent person, I travel alone a lot, so I'm on my own quite often. After that, I definitely am a bit shook and I will be more considerate about where I'm walking and be more cautious."
Thalia posted about her frightening experience on Facebook to warn her many followers.