Irish Olympian Jack Woolley bashed in random attack


irish olympian jack woolley
Image: Jack Woolley Instagram

Bisexual Irish Olympian Jack Woolley will require facial reconstructive surgery after a random attack in Dublin. A stranger assaulted him ‘out of the blue’ early Saturday morning after a night out with a friend. Jack represented Ireland in taekwondo at the Tokyo Olympics. 

The Irish Olympian posted to Instagram to thank people for their support and describe what happened.

“Last night … I went for a meal with my friend. Followed by a bar for a couple of drinks. Heading back along the River Liffey a gang of roughy 8-12 men and women in their 20s began violently attacking people along the boardwalk.

“Unfortunately I was victim to these random attacks as I was just walking by before I was punched in the face by one of these group members. Only one punch and followed by ‘my mistake wrong person’ then they continued to run off down the road attacking more civilians minding their own business.

“Luckily I was able to phone an ambulance and stay conscious. My friends helped me throughout all of this and I’m glad to say they both are well and safe… I’m currently waiting in James’s hospital for mouth surgery.

“Thank you all again for the support and kind messages. I hope for a speedy recovery. It’s been a tough couple of months.”

Jack Woolley

22-year-old Jack came out as bisexual during a documentary about his attempt to qualify for the 2016 Rio Olympics.

He later said he regretted his openness.

“I want to be the first Irish Olympian in my sport, the lad from Tallaght who went to the Olympics, not Jack the gay athlete. People assume a lot about you when you are given a label.

“It is tough, my sport. A lot of the top athletes would be Muslim, so you can’t be too open about it.

“I have had some opponents who wouldn’t shake my hand and I’m just thinking, ‘You need to cop on’. Some have, though, one of the top fighters in the world came up to shake my hand after I won the European silver. I appreciated that.

“Most people don’t care, though, and they shouldn’t care. It’s only if you have a problem with me, I will have a problem with you.”

A good looking lad

Jack’s mother Annette said the night was planned as Jack’s last night out before returning to competition following the Olympics.

“His poor face – he is a good-looking lad and I don’t know what way it is going to be after the reconstructive surgery.

“We are assuming that it was random. We don’t know if someone recognised him and thought it would be funny, but there were other people attacked at the same time.”

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