A TEENAGE girl found beaten semi-conscious near her home had minutes earlier rang friends to say she was worried she was being followed.
The 18-year-old, who was found with serious head injuries in Kinsale, Co Cork, remains in a stable condition in hospital.
Gardai appealed for information about the vicious attack which occurred at Compass Hill in Kinsale, Co Cork, around 10.30pm on Tuesday.
The teen had gone out for a walk but became concerned that someone was stalking her.
She used her mobile phone to contact friends about her fears as she tried to reach the safety of her home.
They immediately contacted Kinsale gardai and also began walking around the area to locate the teen who had gone out alone.
Gardai found the girl lying semi-conscious on a green area close to a housing estate.
She was rushed to Cork University Hospital and treated for head trauma and concussion.
Her condition is not life-threatening but detectives admitted the teen was subjected to a vicious and violent assault.
It is believed that the teen was attacked from behind and her attacker may have used a blunt weapon in the assault.
The motive involved in the attack is unclear and gardai are working to determine if it was a robbery gone wrong or if the attacker may have had a sexual motive.
Gardai have not yet been able to interview the teen to determine precisely what happened.
One source stressed that the exact details of the attack would only be known once forensic results were available and the teen was able to give a detailed interview.
The area of Compass Hill, on the outskirts of the popular Cork tourist town, was sealed off to allow for a detailed investigation by forensic experts.
Gardai also launched door-to-door inquiries to determine if anyone spotted suspicious activity.
"This was a very nasty incident and we would appeal for public assistance," one garda said.
Anyone with information is asked to contact Kinsale garda station at (021) 4772302 or their nearest garda station.