A YOUNG man was fighting for his life last night after he was savagely beaten by a five-strong gang over the alleged theft of a handbag.
The victim, named locally as Dale Creighton, was rushed to Tallaght Hospital in Dublin following the brutal New Year assault.
However, the 20-year-old was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital where he was said to be in a critical condition with head injuries.
Gardai are following a line of inquiry that he was attacked by five people following the suspected theft of a handbag or a phone from a handbag late on New Year's Eve or early yesterday.
The victim is originally from the Glenshane estate in Tallaght where his mother is still believed to live.
Mr Creighton was found at 4am yesterday in a pool of blood with injuries that sources described as “sickening”.
“He was attacked and brutally assaulted by a number of people who left him for dead,” said one source.
“The beating he got was horrendous.”
Local sources say Mr Creighton was on his way to a different address from the one where he was living when he was attacked.
“I had heard some young ones singing around five minutes earlier around the bridge and the small green on the corner, and the next thing I heard screaming and a fella shouting: ‘I'll kill him. If he's there when I get back I'll kill him' and the shouting went on,” said one resident in the St Dominic's Road area.
“I don't know if it was the same group or not, but it all went from celebrations to mayhem in a matter of moments.
“The next thing I saw was the ambulance and the guards. It's a terrible thing to happen to anybody.”
Gardai looking for a weapon that was used in the attack took away a small brick from the garden of a house near where the assault took place.
The area was sealed off for forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau.
A pedestrian bridge that links the St Dominic's Road over the Tallaght bypass with the Greenhills Road and Tallaght village was also sealed off for a time.
It is believed that Mr Creighton may have crossed this bridge from Tallaght before being set upon by the gang.
A 23-year-old man and a 20-year-old woman were later arrested in connection with the investigation into the attack, and were detained at Tallaght garda station under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.
They are both from the Tallaght area.
Gardai are appealing for any witnesses or anyone who knows anything about the attack to contact them at Tallaght on 01 6666000, the Garda confidential line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.