Woman Fought Evil in Horror Clondalkin Attack

By Maurice Garvey

A WOMAN who fought off her attacker in a laneway, told The Echo “she was meant to be there”, after her case helped gardai secure a conviction against a man for attacks on three women in Clondalkin over a five-year period.

Ruth Maxwell’s case was instrumental in the garda investigation, tying DNA evidence and CCTV footage together to identify her attacker.

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Last week, the man was jailed for 18 and a half years for carrying out premeditated attacks on three women in Clondalkin from 2011 to 2016.

A temporary ban in naming the attacker is in place for legal reasons.

“I knew my place. I was meant to be there,” said grandmother Ruth (46).

“The bigger picture is it was a small price to pay for me, with other women attacked.”

On a beautiful morning two years ago (May 16, 2016), much like today, Ruth left her Clondalkin home to get the Luas to work, via Knockmeenagh Lane.

Armed with a hunting knife

Evil was waiting. A man armed with a hunting knife, put his arm around her neck and began to pull her backwards.

Speaking to The Echo, Ruth said she was “attacked in a beam of sunshine.”

Somehow, she managed to repel the attacker by grabbing the knife with her left hand, and in the ensuing mayhem, the man ran away.

Her love of outdoor sports and fitness training was a huge factor, however, gardai The Echo have spoken with during the case recognise she was lucky to make it out alive.

Judge Pauline Codd said the attacks were “brutal and primal in nature”, and there had been an “escalation in violence.”

Since that fateful day, Ruth has been left with life changing scars, both mentally and physically.

Her dominant hand, the left hand was badly damaged, making life extremely difficult, and she has yet to return to work or go jogging.

Ruth could have been another victim, instead she is a symbol of hope.

See next Thursday's Echo on May 31 for the full interview.

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