Dublin woman describes holiday from hell as her husband is attacked and men try to abduct two-year-old girl
Tuesday 24th May 2022
An Irish woman has told of a “harrowing” ordeal her family endured while on a holiday in Turkey during which her husband was assaulted and men tried to snatch a two-year-old girl.
Elaine and Phil Brady travelled to Turkey for a summer holiday with their family and stayed in the resort city of Antalya.
The Dublin woman witnessed her husband being assaulted and an attempted child abduction in their resort. Her children, Lucy and George, are 10 and 11 years old.
The mother of two said she did not feel safe until she landed back on Irish soil.
“We flew out to Turkey for a family holiday to the region of Aliaga, we booked a package holiday, and we were super excited to be going away. We were having a lovely time and we were there a week when things suddenly changed,” she told RTÉ Radio One’s Liveline.
“We had been out of the resort all day and had a lovely day, we returned to the resort and there were late drinks at the bar. There were two couples at the bar like outside at the pool area, one of which we had been socialising with the night before and our kids had played with their kids, and they were lovely.
“When we seen them, they kind of waved at us to say come and have a drink with us, so we did, and we went to the bar and ordered a drink, and it was the last drink before the bar closed. Two men came literally out of nowhere, big, tall burly men, well over six foot…
“I thought it was kind of strange they were standing behind us but were kind of in our conversation but were listening.
“And I kind of signalled to Dean [one of the men she had been speaking to], and I said do you know these guys? And he said no. And everything changed, they got down into my face and said to me ‘shut the F up’ and I kind of went ‘excuse me’?
“So, at that point I walked over to Phil because it was aggressive, and told him what happened, and he walked over towards the men and he said, ‘is there a problem lads?’ and literally in that moment everything changed.
“The two men attacked Phil, it was absolutely horrendous, the children were screaming, they basically grabbed Phil and were tackling him to the ground, the other two guys I was speaking to, Dean and Mike, were trying to help Phil.”
Mrs Brady said her two children were “absolutely terrified” and she witnessed one of the men throw a towel over another child and try to run off.
“In the midst of all this I ran to grab my children, another man came out of nowhere and was trying to pick up one of the other children that were there, threw a towel over her head and was trying to pick her up and run,” she said.
“Phil was screaming at the top of his voice to get the kids back to the hotel to safety because it was madness, it was sheer and utter madness
“We basically were subjected to that for, I don’t even know how long, the whole time we were outside there were punches being thrown, kids were pushed around, kids were slapped and when Phil managed to break free from the two men we ran towards the lobby and straight to the lift.
“All the while these guys were beating the c*** out of myself and Phil, they were trying to drag us out of the lift, but Phil was clutched onto the pole either side. I was in front of my children and one of my children kicked the men, ran out of the lift, she grabbed her brother and the two of them ran to the toilet.”
Mrs Brady’s son used her phone to call emergency services, which took several minutes.
“I have no idea why they targeted us, but I really honestly believe that it was to try and create a distraction so that they could abduct one of the children,” she said.
Mrs Brady said the police eventually arrived and she also contacted the Irish Embassy about the incident.
English man Dean also described to the programme his terror as he witnessed a man try to abduct his two-year-old daughter Evie. He and his partner Sophie had also travelled to the resort for a holiday with their three kids.
Dean said his daughter was shown a lot of attention throughout the entire holiday because of her fair hair and skin. Dean was also assaulted while trying to protect his daughter.
“All of a sudden it all kicked off and it all went chaotic when I heard screams from behind me. So, as I turned, I saw that third man go over to my two-year-old daughter who was sat on a chair and put a towel over her head and pick her up and start running off,” he said.
With his children in tears, two men came for him, he said.
“I think it was actually some German people that were there that actually managed to retrieve my daughter off this man,” he said.
“I ran back to where we came from, I was panicking and went back to the lobby when I saw two German girls come out of a bush who had actually taken our daughter and hid her in a bush away from it all with my other son who’s five.”
He eventually got back to his hotel room with his entire family after the terrifying ordeal.
A garda spokesperson confirmed to Independent.ie that the matter has been forwarded to Interpol.
“Gardaí received a report in relation to an assault that occurred outside the jurisdiction on 15th May 2022. This matter has now been forwarded to An Garda Síochána Interpol section for onward transmission to the relevant authorities,” the spokesperson said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said it is aware of the case and is providing “consular assistance”.
“As with all consular cases, the Department does not comment on the details of any specific case,” a spokesperson said.