Victim of vicious assault remains critically ill

July 4, 2016

A Newry woman remains in a critical condition in a Belfast hospital after she was viciously assaulted in the Tandragee Road area, on the outskirts of the city, in the early hours of Friday morning.

Named locally as Mary Clarke, the 51-year-old mother and grandmother was found with serious head injuries at her home in Hollyridge Lane.  Police officers made the discovery while responding to a call about an intoxicated man at the nearby Fiveways Roundabout.  She was initially taken to Daisy Hill Hospital in the city but was later transferred to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

The street was cordoned off until Thursday night as forensics officers combed the area and detectives conducted enquiries.

The PSNI’s Det Insp Colin Patterson said police are working to piece together the circumstances surrounding the attack and have said it is not yet clear how the victim sustained her injuries, describing her condition as “life-threatening”.

Two men were arrested on Thursday in connection with the crime and both were later released on bail, pending further enquiries.

MP Mickey Brady described the attack as “absolutely horrific” adding that the local community “has been left in shock at such a callous attack”.

“People in this area would be quite close knit; this is a quiet area and such a brutal assault has caused genuine fear and unrest.  I’d urge anybody with any information on this despicable attack to contact the PSNI and help make our streets that bit safer,” he said and extended his wishes for a speedy recovery to the victim.

Ulster Unionist MLA Danny Kennedy said news of the attack is “deeply disturbing”.

“I sincerely hope the victim can make a full recovery from her injuries,” he said.  “This incident will shock the community and I would appeal to anyone with any information to contact the police immediately.  It is vital that the police have all available information at their disposal as they carry out their investigation.”

Police have asked anyone who may be able to help with the investigation to contact detectives at Ardmore PSNI station on 101, or anonymously through the Crimestoppers number on 0800 555 111.