The Irish community in North Carolina is rallying to raise funds for Annie Nice, a beloved Raleigh woman originally from Northern Ireland who was seriously injured in a vicious mugging last Tuesday.
Nice, 59, was coming home from a meeting to her downtown Raleigh apartment when three young men attacked her as she was walking out of the parking lot.
“I think they hit me on the back of the head with something because there’s a huge lump,” she said. “Everything was knocked out of me. It was a total black-out shock. I didn’t know if I’d been hit by a car or what had happened,” she told WRAL.
The muggers took her bag, including her wallet, cell phone and green card, which the police report valued at $240.
However, the muggers also got away with something much more precious to Nice – photos of her two sons, who are both deceased.
One son, Andrew Britton, was a prolific spy novelist whose books appeared on the New York Times’ bestseller list. He passed way in 2008 at the age of 27 from an undiagnosed heart condition. Tragically, his younger brother Christopher struggled with severe depression in the wake of his brother’s death and took his own life two years later in 2010.
Nice also sustained serious injuries during the mugging, which have left her in severe pain, wearing a surgical neck brace and facing the possibility of surgery to correct the ligament damage she suffered as a result of being dragged.
She told WNCN that she hopes her attackers are caught. “I want my day in court with them," she said. “I want their parents to know what they do at night when they’re out.”
The local Irish community has rallied around Nice, setting up a Pass the Hat for Annie Nice fund via GoFundMe, which has raised almost $20,000 in 8 days to go towards her medical bills. A fundraising event is also planned for tonight.
Nice, who was previously the manager of Tir-Na-Nog, a now closed pub and restaurant, had just begun an exciting new chapter, setting up her own event planning business, Irish Mother Productions.
Many who have contributed to her fund have noted that Nice has long been a pillar of the Raleigh Irish community, planning events and fundraisers to support various causes.
As Nice told WRAL, she also lost her sense of security during the mugging. “That is the thing I feel like they took away from me the other night. They took away that sense of security, that wee bit that was mine.”
However, she also expressed gratitude and amazement at the kindness of the people of Raleigh.
“This city is amazing. This city has rallied and come around me and wrapped me in a blanket and carried me through this. I’m so grateful, so very, very grateful,” she said.
You can visit the GoFundMe page for Annie Nice by clicking here.