| 8.2°C Dublin

'I ran out and rescued tot from buggy '

The general manager of a hotel in Smithfield has told how frantic efforts were made to save young children during the shocking attack.

Gemma Jordan, who works for the Maldron Hotel, described how she personally pulled one toddler to safety during the terrifying melee.

"There was the shot, and the stampede, and I ran out and had to pull a girl from a buggy and into the hotel. There was a piebald horse standing over her. I had to reach in under the horse to get her," she said.

The hotel boss said tourists were left stunned at the horror which unfolded.

"People who book in here expect to come to a city where they can walk around and enjoy themselves, not have Beirut with horses on their doorstep," she said.

"Nothing from yesterday was positive, and some of our customers were very upset," she explained.

Smithfield residents have also described how they had to pull children to safety during the massive stampede at the horse fair.

With gunshots ringing out and injured men collapsing in pools of blood it was sheer bedlam in the square as people and horses bolted to safety.

Now locals are saying it was a miracle nobody was killed, and they have demanded that the horse fair be stopped for good.

"I pulled a little girl and two Traveller boys over my wall because they were were going to be run over," said one Smithfield resident.

"The whole thing put 10 years on me. I was terrified," said the frightened mother.

She then described seeing the victim of a slash hook attack collapse in a pool of blood on the street. "There was a bang and everyone was running, and there were loose horses everywhere, and the next thing this lad stumbled past the gate and collapsed," she said.

"A garda came over to him and asked him to get up again so he could take his jacket off because he couldn't see where he was injured, and when they took off his coat there was blood flowing like a waterfall from it," she added.

"The arm was hanging off him, it was shocking. I never saw so much blood," the woman explained.

"I hope this stops now. The fair has to stop or someone will end up dead from it," she added.

Down the street Joan McConvey echoed her feelings. "I've been here 26 years now, and we have been asking for the fair to stop for years," she said.

cfeehan@herald.ie