A MAN was left fighting for his life last night after he was brutally attacked by an assailant in broad daylight.
Pa Byrnes Jnr (34) – a well known criminal – was viciously beaten at Lord Edward Street in Limerick city yesterday.
The attack took place less then a week after he was released from prison.
While garda investigations are at an early stage, it is believed that Byrnes was targeted following his involvement in a shooting incident in Patrickswell, Co Limerick, in 2005.
The 21-year-old man suspected of carrying out the assault was arrested in Patrickswell, Co Limerick. A 19-year-old woman was also held.
The two were questioned last night at separate garda stations.
Byrnes was walking along Lord Edward Street on the southside of the city when the attack occurred just after 3pm. A car with a number of occupants pulled up near Byrnes and at least one man proceeded to savagely beat him.
The victim was struck several times around the head with a blunt weapon and suffered severe wounds.
The culprits escaped from the scene while Byrnes lay wounded on the ground.
He was rushed to the Mid-Western regional hospital and later transferred to Cork University Hospital.
The scene of the attack was cordoned off as gardai responded to the assault.
CCTV footage from the area is also being examined and house-to-house enquiries were ongoing in the immediate aftermath.
In 2005, Byrnes was sentenced to six years' imprisonment after Edward 'Teddy Boy' Harty was shot three times in the chest and neck at Lisheen Park, Patrickswell.
Two other men were also injured in the shooting incident on May 30, 2005.
One theory that gardai are investigating is that yesterday's brutal attack was carried out in retaliation for Byrnes' involvement in the shooting incident in Patrickswell eight years ago.
Last night, gardai were appealing for witnesses to the Limerick city assault to contact them.