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Galway mayor 'shocked' after onlookers filmed him being punched in the face after intervening in attack on young woman

Galway mayor Niall McNeilus said he had expected others to intervene during the violent incident

THE mayor of Galway has said he was "shocked" after onlookers filmed him getting punched in the face as he went help a young woman being attacked by a man in the city centre.

Niall McNeilus said he had expected others to intervene during the violent incident on Friday evening and asked when it "became the norm" to reach for your phone to film when they saw a person being attacked.

He had been leaving a meeting at around 8.30pm when he saw the woman being assaulted on Wolfe Tone Bridge and went to her aid, telling the man to "back off".

Mr McNeilus said he "cannot believe a young girl was being assaulted tonight on Wolfe Tone Bridge and when I intervened got punched, most onlookers wanted to film it and only one woman assisted".

The woman who helped Mr McNeilus is understood to have called the Gardaí who were at the scene "within minutes".

The Labour politician, who was not badly injured and did not need medical treatment, said he was "very saddened", but stressed "Galway is a safe place" and it was an isolated incident.

The young woman was not seriously injured. A man was arrested and appeared in court yesterday.

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