Lisnaskea machete attackers need to be apprehended

The shocking machete attack in Co Fermanagh that left a 13-year-old girl fighting for her life and another woman injured was an absolutely horrific crime which could have led to loss of life.

An 11-month-old baby boy was also in the house at the time and was fortunate to escape injury.

This was due to the bravery of the teenage victim, the baby's aunt, who threw herself across the baby to shield him from the assailants.

Meanwhile, the baby's grandmother, Elizabeth Joyce, needed stitches for stab wounds sustained in the terrifying incident.

This appalling act of savagery took place in a house at Trasna Way in Lisnaskea on Saturday night.

A three man gang armed with machetes forced their way into the home and carried out the vicious attack on those inside.

Graphic video footage of the aftermath of the attack has been posted on social media, showing the gruesome extent of the injuries suffered by the teenage girl, which included a deep gash running down her back.

A separate video clip, also circulating online, appears to show a number of men approaching the house.

It is difficult to comprehend how men wielding deadly weapons could carry out such a barbaric and violent onslaught on a young girl and another woman, and be entirely reckless about the danger to a helpless infant.

It is not clear what lies behind this dreadful crime although police are believed to be examining a link to a feud between members of the Travelling community.

However, there can be no possible justification for this attack which is being treated as attempted murder.

PSNI Detective Sergeant Keith Monaghan said officers are determined to find the men responsible.

There is no doubt the perpetrators are extremely dangerous.

Anyone who arms themselves with a machete, forces their way into a home where a baby is present then attacks the terrified and vulnerable inhabitants within, inflicting potentially life-threatening injuries, needs to be apprehended and brought before the courts.

Anyone with information about this attack or who can assist the police in any way with their inquiries, must come forward as a matter of urgency.