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Woman who went viral after brutal rugby tackle into mud at Kendal Calling speaks out

A woman has spoken out after a video of her being brutally tackled into the mud at Kendal Calling went viral. See footage of the incident below.

In the footage from the festival at the weekend, the woman is seen standing in the middle of a mud-soaked circle as she films a group of friends who are huddled together with their arms around each other. Moments later, she is knocked to the ground with huge force after another woman suddenly rugby tackles her before running away. The surrounding crowd remained shocked as she lied there motionless. She required medical attention.

The video was shared and seen by tens of thousands of people, and now 36-year-old Helen O’Reilly from Emley has spoken out about her ordeal.

She was attending the Cumbria festival at Lowther Park with her friend Caroline Dobson, before the tackle left her needing medical attention.

“Caroline and I were having a great time at the festival,” she told the Huddersfield Examiner. “It was the first time I had been and it was a lot of fun. We were watching some men larking about in the mud when out of nowhere I was tackled to the ground. I never saw it coming as I had my back to her.

“All of a sudden I was on the floor, I think I was unconscious for about five minutes. When I came round I was covered in mud, it was in my hair and face, up my nose and all over my clothes. Fortunately the paramedics were on the scene very quickly and treated me.

She continued: “Caroline is a nurse and she didn’t see the incident so she was quite distraught when she got the phone call from the medics telling her what had happened. She came straight away with my other friend Niale and some clean clothes and helped me shower myself and wash myself down.”

Franz Ferdinand, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers and Frank Turner all headlined Kendal Calling 2017

Franz Ferdinand, Stereophonics, Manic Street Preachers and Frank Turner all headlined Kendal Calling 2017

“Afterwards I went back to my tent feeling pretty demoralised as it had been such a lovely atmosphere and everyone was having such a good time. What that woman did totally changed the atmosphere. Other people were quite shocked too.

“I’m only 5ft 2″ inches tall and very petite whereas the woman who launched herself at me looked at least twice the size of me.”

Asked what she would do if she could meet the assailant, she replied: “I would love to ask her why she did it. If my six-year-old daughter Abigail had seen her mum being assaulted then it would have been quite hard for her.

“I’m not at all a vindictive person. I like to see the good in everyone and the festival has such a beautiful, family spirit to it. But I would like to see the police find the person that did this. Obviously, it affected our weekend and although Caroline and I were having a great time before it happened and we had intended to spend the whole weekend there.”

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O’Reilley later attended Barnsley Hospital where she was told that she had suffered whiplash, soft tissue damage, bruising and a trapped nerve.

A Kendal Calling spokesman condemned the attacker’s behaviour and said that it was entirely at odds with the ‘family’ atmosphere of the festival.

Meanwhile, Cumbria Police are currently investigating the assault and invite anyone with information to call them on 101.

03/08/2017 15:03:29
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