At a time when there is an intense focus on athletes using violence against women comes a story about a plucky young Irish girl who overcame a vicious attack.

On Sunday Alisha Jordan, a Bronx girl by way of County Meath, will take the field at hallowed Croke Park playing with the New York ladies team in the All Ireland Final, junior level, against Wexford.

The fact that she is there at all is a miracle.

Alisha, a bartender, was attacked as she made her way home from work at an Irish bar with another woman on July 14, 2012.

She could have died.

She was the victim of an unprovoked attack, by a lunatic carrying a concrete slab.

“It was just one blow,” she recalled.

“He came from my right side swinging the brick around and hit me in the face.”

Alerted by the Jordan’s screams, her friend, who wishes to remain anonymous, immediately sprang into action. Charging at the attacker, she pulled the t-shirt from his back before he fled the scene. On July 24 the NYPD arrested Jordan's assailant and charged him with felony assault.

The young Irish immigrant was confused when she woke up in hospital surrounded by her friends.

“I was in severe pain once I woke up. I didn’t know what was going on, but waking up and seeing my friends was such a relief.”

He broke her nose, her teeth, her cheekbone and skull.

Doctors feared for her life. She had ten metal plates inserted in her head and two major surgeries. For months she was on the verge of death.

Amazingly, the plucky immigrant from County Meath survived. Her friends and family pulled her through.

"I would advise anybody who goes through something like this to not shut people out. I let everybody keep me upbeat at all times even when I wanted nothing more than to just lie in bed all day every day. I advise them to get up and face your demons and get out again,” she says.

Doctors called her a miracle but warned her she could never play her beloved Gaelic Football again.

She laughed at them.

She told the Irish Times, “They told me to never play football again. I didn’t play contact for a while. I got a face mask made specially so that I could play. Thankfully now I don’t need it anymore.

“Obviously I had that split-second decision when I was going in for a 50-50 tackle. I’m probably the one taking the bigger risk, but it’s not something I think of playing football anymore.”

She captained her Cavan team to the New York title last year – an amazing feat.

Now back bar-tending in New York, a city she loves, she will play her heart out for her All-Ireland medal.

Speaking of the incident, she says she has totally put it behind her.

She is a profile in courage and deserves that medal more than any player in Croke Park this week.

Here’s an initial report on Alisha’s case from just after the attack:

Alisha Jordan: Brave young Irish GAA athlete overcomes vicious attack with brick in the Bronx.Facebook