'I was lying on the ground thinking this could be it', says brave Shanan
A young Co Donegal student who was viciously punched in the face during a violent late-night assault has said she is slowly recovering from her ordeal, which left her thinking she was going to die.
Shanan Reid McDaid was hospitalised after she was attacked by a stranger while waiting to get a taxi home after a night out in Letterkenny.
The 18-year-old was left with severe facial injuries from being repeatedly punched in the attack early on Sunday morning.
The incident happened at the Market Square at around 3am as Shanan's friends walked ahead of her.
The thug first called her "bitch" and "slut" and, as she turned round, he attacked her.
"My friends were literally around the side of the building where it happened. I was at one side and they were at the other," Shanan told RTE's Today With Sean O'Rourke.
"This was in the entrance to a car park, just off the main road."
The Donegal student said that her attacker was on his own and that she had never seen him before.
The second time he called her names, she said she turned around and confronted him.
"I knew if I had called for my friends and boyfriend that things would have turned out a lot worse for him," she said.
"He looked so normal and I didn't think I wanted to put him in that position but maybe I should have done that instead."
The attack lasted for several minutes and left Shanan with a broken nose, chipped teeth and cuts on her head.
"My face is really puffy and bruised," she said.
Shanan described the moment she thought she was going to die during the violent attack.
"At the time I thought I was going to die," she said.
"It was so sore and I didn't know if he was going to stop. I was lying on the ground thinking this could be it but thank God it didn't happen."
She added that her attacker ran off after someone else startled him.
The arts student said that her attacker had brown hair and was wearing a navy blazer, jeans and a white shirt.
"I'm almost sure he was local. He only spoke the two words to me but from that I didn't think he sounded any different to me.
"I got myself back up and I ran over to my friends. That's when they realised that something had happened.
"They didn't hear anything, which was crazy. They were so shocked it had happened."
She has since been discharged from hospital and is recovering well at home.
"I'm definitely getting better every day but I'm still pretty sore," Shanan said.
"There are things that will still take a while to heal, like my teeth. I'm definitely looking better than I did on Sunday morning."