A NORTH Clare man has described the scenes of a Sydney knife attack as “just horrific”.

Niall Naughton from Boston was in Bondi Junction Westfield shopping centre when stabbings took place.

Six people died following stabbings at the shopping centre near Australia’s Bondi beach. Their attacker was shot dead by a police woman responding to the incident and several other people have been brought to hospital with serious injuries. Five women and a man were killed in the stabbing, New South Wales Police said.

Police said four women and a man died in the shopping centre. Since then, another woman passed away in hospital. A nine-month-old infant has undergone surgery and “about eight” people, including the child, are in hospitals around Sydney receiving treatment for “different injuries” as a result of the attack.

Having gone to the shopping centre to get his hair cut which was on the floor where the incidents occurred, Niall was in the changing room of Zara when he discovered that something was amiss. “I could hear what sounded like a stampede of cattle coming running through the shop. I had the curtain closed in the dressing room so I couldn’t see anything but I could hear everything”.

He continued, “Next thing, somebody pulled back my curtain and said ‘get out, get out, get out, you need to go, you need to go”. He hid with other customers and staff in the basement of the shop with the door barricaded and there was huge panic.

Niall continued, “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”.

Living in Australia for the past seven months, Niall said he is in shock after the events. “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,” he added.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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