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Charleen Murphy reveals her attacker has been released from prison early: ‘I wasn’t alerted – it’s a slap in the face’

Charleen Murphy has revealed her attacker has been released from prison early, and she wasn’t alerted by the authorities.

The popular influencer was traumatised when she was attacked by a man at a Dublin hotel in February last year.

Craig O’Brien, 28, was sentenced to 18 months in prison at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court in November, after pleading guilty to assault causing harm to her at the Grafton Capital Hotel on February 10.

Charleen was hospitalised after the incident | Instagram

However, Charleen has now revealed her attacker has already been released “on good behaviour”.

The Dublin native opened up about the incident on the latest episode of Doireann Garrihy’s podcast Doireann and Friends.

Charleen recalled the man in question punching her in the back of the head, which caused her head to ricochet off a glass in front of her – leaving a 2inch gash on her forehead.

The social media star was taken away in an ambulance, and said: “The whole thing is a bit of blur, like I remember it but I don’t. I think your brain tries to protect you from trauma a lot of the time.”

Charleen was left with a 2 inch gash on her head | Instagram

“He went to prison then but he’s out now, he got out early on good behaviour. I found out off someone else which is really disappointing.

“I found out off someone who’s auntie works somewhere being like ‘we’ve seen him around’. I wasn’t rang, I wasn’t alerted, which is really bad I think,” Charleen continued.

“Because I’m already hyper aware of where I am when I’m there, but then when you know that someones out when they attacked you, you’d kind of want to know like.

“So that was really disappointing, and to hear someone’s out on good behaviour is just like a slap in the face, because you don’t get much time anyway in Ireland.”

Charleen’s attacker was known to her, as he had previously sent her messages online.

The 24-year-old said she didn’t think anything of the messages at the time because she knew the Gardaí wouldn’t take it seriously, and that she would be told “this isn’t America”.

“So its kind of disappointing that we’re let down in the sense that we don’t have that protection straight away of people taking it seriously,” she told listeners.

“Because I know if I had went to [the police] about messages previous, I would have got that answer because my friend had got that answer before.”

When asked how she goes about protecting herself now, Charleen explained: “Just not posting where I am when I’m there, really.

“A guard came to my house after it happened and they obviously have to be really thorough so he was like ‘you can get someone to seal your letterbox up’ like telling me all these security measures… so that kind of freaked me out but it was nice that they came and told me.

“But then he was like ‘make sure you don’t have a routine’, and I was like its so unfair that I’m not allowed have my own routine.

“Now I’m sure they have to tell everyone that and its more for people being proper stalked, but just things like that as well, like I feel like I can’t share… it affects my work in a way because I feel like I’d love to share more but then I have to think of my safety, and that is priority.”

Charleen moved into a new apartment last year, but couldn’t share a tour of her new place on social media out of fear.

“I can’t have anyone even knowing the angle of my apartment, like I’ve never taken a picture of the view from my balcony even though the sun is so nice every evening,” she said.

“It sounds so stupid, but its just little things like that that you shouldn’t have to think about but you do. ”

“Whenever I do speak out about it, I was on Ireland AM, and a lot of the comments were like ‘well that’s what influencers get, you shouldn’t be putting up where you are’. Like victim blaming, and that pisses me off, like that is not right,” Charleen stressed.

“It’s never the person’s fault who got attacked, maybe people just shouldn’t attack people. That would really help, instead of like not having to put up where you are.”

“I actually done Muay Thai then, I think for like three months, but I ended up fracturing my ankle doing it, which is really embarrassing.

“And up until that point I felt so numb to everything, like I felt really weak, I think thats the main thing I felt, I felt like a shell of myself, I felt really small.

“So when I went to that I feel like I felt strong again, and got that little bit of power back to like, if something was to happen maybe I could know a little bit what to do… because you just don’t know.”

Charleen went on to praise her family and friends for supporting her through such a tough time, particularly her boyfriend Dano.

“I feel really bad for my family and friends to like have to see someone go through that, because you feel helpless nearly because its just like what can you do.

“And then sitting there in court every time with me and having to watch that CCTV video, I’ve never watched it myself but it would get played every time.

“I’m glad we had that though… like it was clear as day and that’s why it moved so quickly and he was put away so quickly as well.”

Charleen and her boyfriend Dano

Charleen has exploded in popularity over the past few years, and has over 231k followers on Instagram and almost 200k on TikTok.

The Dublin native also hosts the popular podcast Hold My Drink with her best friend Ellie Kelly, and won Influencer of the Year at The Gossies 2024 in March.

Speaking to Goss.ie on the pink carpet, Charleen said she was finally feeling like her “old self again” following a turbulent year.

Charleen Murphy pictured at The Gossies 2024 | Brian McEvoy

When asked whether she’s still on edge since the attack, she told us: “I was for awhile and sometimes I still am if I’m thinking about it but there’s so anymore times now that I’m not thinking about it.”

“There’s times that I just feel good and carefree and it’s so nice to feel like my old self again.”

The 24-year-old added: “Compared to this time last year, how I feel in myself is just night and day so I’m so happy to be happy.”

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