Mum punched and kicked in the head as 20 teenage 'drug dealers' wreck her home
A woman was subjected to a vicious assault during which she was punched and kicked in the head while a group of young thugs ransacked her Dublin home.
Rachel O'Byrne (44) was set on by the gang of up to 20 youths in west Finglas at around 11 o'clock last Wednesday night.
The mother-of-three believes she was targeted because she had passed on information about their alleged drug-dealing activities in the area to local gardai.
"I was walking along the road when I passed three of them. I turned around and saw them on their phone making a call, and then they began to follow me," said Ms O'Byrne.
"The next thing I knew there were around 20 of these thugs standing around me.
"They began to punch and kick me, and when I fell to the ground they started kicking me in the head, so I used my hands to cover my face."
Ms O'Byrne fled towards a number of business premises nearby, but the mob chased her.
"I tried to run away in a different direction but it seemed as if these lads had every way blocked off," she said. "They started kicking me again and I was screaming for help but it never came.
"They were calling me a rat and a snitch for going to the gardai over what they were doing."
She was left with cuts to her face, arms and legs as well as severe swelling on her head as a result of the attack.
As the mob viciously assaulted her, some made their way to Ms O'Byrne's home where they proceeded to ransack every room.
"Almost every window of my house was put through," she said. "They turned the place upside down. They smashed a shelf through the front window, they broke vases, flipped tables, broke mirrors and kicked in the back door."
The side door of the property was also smashed, and shattered glass was scattered all over the ground outside.
The gang also stole Ms O'Byrne's much-needed medication as well as money she had set aside for her week's shopping. It is the fourth time they have targeted her, and she said she is in constant fear of her life because of the attacks.
"I'm terrified. I need protection of some sort, because these scumbags will come back and attack me again," she said.
"Something needs to be done about this, because at the moment I'm living in absolute fear."
Ms O'Byrne, who said she has been intimidated by the gang on several occasions in the past few weeks, has refused hospital treatment until her smashed windows are fully boarded up.
She fears the group will return and cause more damage to her house.
Detectives from Finglas Garda Station are investigating the incident.
The young thugs are believed to be the lowest rung of an organised crime gang that has emerged following the death of a number of high-profile criminals in the Finglas area over the past decade.
The gang, who primarily deal cannabis resin and herb, have filled the vacuum left by the deaths of major players, including Eamon 'The Don' Dunne, Declan Curran and Martin 'Marlo' Hyland.