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'It could have been a lot worse': Olympic athlete Jack Woolley describes Dublin assault

Woolley required surgery after being assaulted in Dublin at the weekend.

Jack Woolley at the Tokyo Olympics last month.
Jack Woolley at the Tokyo Olympics last month.
Image: James Crombie/INPHO

IRISH OLYMPIAN JACK Woolley said he is recovering after surgery following an assault in Dublin city centre last weekend. 

Woolley, who represented Ireland in taekwondo at the recent Tokyo Olympics, was hospitalisted after the assault.

Speaking to RTÉ radio’s Morning Ireland, Woolley said the attack “could have been a lot worse”. 

“I was just walking down the street in Dublin next to the Liffey and turned around to check if they were okay because I heard a bit of noise, a few people on the street and stuff, and by the time I turned back around to look there was a few people on the road,” he said. 

One of them just turned and hit me and apologised and said ‘oh sorry, wrong person’ and continued on their way down then to unfortunately assault other people then on the road.

He said people have asked him why he didn’t defend himself at the time, but the attack was “literally one punch”.

“A ring connected with my front teeth, bust my lip open. At the time, the best thing to do was just get safe, find somewhere that I could safely call an ambulance and just get seen to.

“I feel a bit embarrassed over it but I could have got a lot worse. If I retaliated, God knows what would have happened because I know there was a lot more people in worse states.

“I was the first one I recall being attacked and I was the last one put in an ambulance, that’s how bad the other injuries must have been.”

He has since had surgery and said his upper lip had “completely come off” and required stitches.

“There was a hole in my face,” he said of the injury. 

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“At the time it wasn’t sore at all, there was a lot of adrenaline going on.

“It wasn’t until after surgery and the comedown off the anesthetic that it started to be a little bit more tender a little bit more painful.”

The athlete said the pain and swelling is improving daily and he wants to return to training “as quick as possible”.

“I don’t want my life to stop over a freak accident.”

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