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Irishman caught up in Sydney attack feared for his life


An Irishman who was in Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre when the stabbings took place has said it was “just horrific”.

Niall Naughton, a Co Clare man living in Sydney, was in Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre when the stabbings took place earlier today.

He was in the dressing room when he learned that something was happening.

Speaking on Saturday with Colm O’Mongain, he said: “Next thing somebody pulled back my curtain and said ‘Get out, get out, get out. You need to go…there’s stabbing, someone’s stabbing’.”

Mr Naughton hid with other customers and staff in the basement of the shop with the door barricaded and there was huge panic.

He said: “Everyone was in such a state of panic. Everyone was in such distress and overwhelmed, everyone was screaming and crying. It wasn’t a very calm situation. It was just horrific.”

“I was even thinking of my own family at the time. What if there is a possibility that something is going to happen to me and I’m going to die. I couldn’t even reach for my phone at this stage cos there was so many of us crammed into the room.”

He said he and the other customers got out through an emergency door from the basement outside at the back of the shopping centre.

“I could see hundreds and hundreds of people coming running across the road. There’s a two way street there and they were coming running across in front of cars.

“There was cars like driving a full speed. It was like something you would see out of a movie. It was that scary.

“I just kept running. That’s all I could do was run as far away from the shopping centre as I could.”

Mr Naughton said he is in shock after the events of today.

“This has properly shook me to the core. I’ve never in my life thought I’d ever be in an incident where I’d be in in some form of attack like that.

“Ultimately you turn around and you think of your family straight away when you’re in an incident like that and it can make you quite homesick too

“You want to be with your family. But thankfully I have a good group of friends here that are looking after me this evening.”


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