A CRIMINAL is in a critical condition after he was brutally beaten up and run over by a vehicle in Dublin.
Keith Fay (34) suffered severe injuries after being driven at by a car in a vicious attack near his home on Clonliffe Road, Drumcondra just after 1.30pm yesterday.
He is currently on life support in the Mater hospital with serious head injuries.
Mr Fay's mother said her son's chances of survival were only "50-50".
He is believed to have suffered a fractured skull and major internal injuries including damage to his spleen and other organs.
Fay, originally from Coultry Road, Ballymun, was just released from prison yesterday morning.
And gardai are investigating whether the incident is related to a spat inside prison.
Fay has at least 49 convictions for aggravated burglary and robbery.
He had been serving a six-year sentence for his part in an aggravated burglary.
Gardai are examining a car which was later found burnt out in the East Wall area.
A source said: "Gardai are examining whether there was a prison row which spilled out onto Dublin's streets.
"He was given a few slaps in an altercation and then he was driven over by a car.
"He is considered a career criminal."
Last night, a male relative said the incident was like something out of a TV drama.
"It's getting harder to tell TV from reality," he said. "This is the kind of thing you'd see in Love/Hate. Not outside your door."
The incident is being investigated by detectives at Mountjoy Garda Station. Fay pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal court in January 2010 to aggravated burglary at the Clarehall home of Jennifer O'Leary on February 22, 2008.
He also pleaded guilty to four burglaries and one attempted burglary of houses at Templeview Close, Clarehall, in June 2008.
He was given an eight-year jail sentence, with two years suspended, for the main offence and a three-year term to run concurrently for the other offences.
The court heard that Fay and his accomplice had broken into Ms O'Leary's home while she slept on the couch with her two-week-old baby. Fay struck her sleeping partner, Phuong Nguyen, on the knee with the hammer as he lay sleeping and forced Ms O'Leary to show him where the safe was located in the master bedroom.
The two burglars bundled a number of electrical items, including two laptops and a plasma TV, into a duvet and removed them from the house, before returning for more valuables and the contents of the safe.
Ms O'Leary told gardai that the second man stabbed her in the arm in a subsequent fracas involving her partner, her partner's sister from next door, and the two burglars.
Fay denied he threatened Ms O'Leary or her children.
His counsel said Fay had grown up in a physically and sexually abusive environment.
Suspending the final two years of his sentence, Judge Katherine Delahunt said she took into consideration his pleas of guilty which, she said, prevented the family from having to "relive the awfulness of the night" through giving evidence in the case.
By Ken Foy and Sam Griffin