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Marie Gauvin after the attack Photo by: Irish Independent

Welcome home, Irish immigrant of 47 years blinded by bottle attack

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Marie Gauvin after the attack Photo by: Irish Independent

A woman who returned to Ireland on vacation 47 years after she immigrated to Canada will likely lose her eye after she was caught in the middle of a bar room brawl.

Marie Gauvin, 58, was enjoying a night out in Birr, Co. Offaly, after attending an event for the Gathering initiative with her family.

Gauvin, who doesn’t drink, was an innocent bystander when a fight broke out and she was struck in the face by a glass bottle.

She was rushed to Tullamore hospital for treatment before being transferred to the Royal Victoria Eye and Ear Hospital in Dublin late on Sunday night. Gauvin has undergone two operations since the weekend and has received 23 stitches in her right eye.

According to the Irish Independent the Irish woman will have to have her right eye surgically removed as a result of the injury. 

The ex-pat was enjoying a vacation in Ireland with her 84-year-old father and sister Irene ,53, when the incident occurred.

She had accompanied her father when he acted as the Grand Marshal of the Birr Vintage Week and Arts Festival parade before she went to the bar to socialize.

Her brother, Michael Wrafter, spoke to the Irish Independent from his home in Ontario, Canada.

"I have a sister right now, fighting for her eyesight in a hospital in Dublin. She never had a drink in her life and this is what's going on," he said.

"She went home with my father and her sister. It is 47 years since we emigrated from Ireland. We go back every year and we had all just been back together in May. I believe somebody is responsible for this. I am not going to stop until I get to the bottom of this."

Gauvin, who was born in Ireland, left Birr in 1966 with her three siblings when their father Frank Wrafter, a talented weaver, moved to Canada for work.

The mother of one will return home to Canada on Saturday morning and will have her right eye removed the following Monday.

A police spokesperson said an investigation into the incident is ongoing.

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