A brave teenager has told how she used her karate skills to fend off an attempted abduction in Co Meath earlier this week.
Kate Mulhern, 17, was walking her family's new puppy, Mia, not far from their home at Blackcastle Demesne in Navan, Co Meath at 2pm on Tuesday when the incident occurred.
Speaking to RTÉ's Ryan Tubridy Show this morning, the 5th Year student at Beaufort College in Navan said she noticed a man was following her.
Clearly frightened, Kate texted a friend asking what she should do. The friend instantly replied that she should "get home really fast".
Next, Kate realised that the man following her had cut across the road and run to a car. He got into the vehicle and sped towards her.
Before she knew it, the man jumped out of the vehicle and grabbed Kate by the arm, pulling her towards the car.
But little did Kate’s would-be abductor know that she is on the Irish national karate team.
"Just as he did that, I saw an opening to his ribs and kicked him as hard as I could," said Kate, "and he fell back as hard as he could on the car, and he got back in and I just ran."
Kate, who is just 1.63m (5'3") tall, said her immediate thinking was "fight or flight".
"I knew I was either going to be pulled into the car or fight back and go home and call the police and get help. I had to think quick on my toes," she added.
As the car drove off Kate said she was shocked and crying, but managed to ring her mum and get to her house safely.
Kate, who has been doing karate since she was nine years old, put down her escape to her training.
"While it gives discipline and control to hit each other and not hurt each other in training, in the scenario I just experienced we’re trained to know how to fight back too."
Kate trains with Paul Brennan, an Irish Kenpo Karate Union chief instructor in Santry, Dublin.
Mia the puppy was also unharmed and showed bravery, Kate added, by not running off but staying put "jumping, growling and scowling" at the attacker.
The attack has been reported to gardaí.