FIVE men are being questioned by gardai after a savage attack by burglars on a former business consultant in his home.
The burglars forced their way into the home of 63-year-old Niall Sweeney at Fortfield Road, Terenure, in south Dublin, on Thursday night and hit him three times on the head with a hatchet handle.
It was the second break-in at the house within a week and both times the thugs made off empty-handed.
Gardai are satisfied that Mr Sweeney is either the victim of mistaken identity or has been targeted in the belief that he had a lot of cash at his home.
Officers arrested two suspects in Clondalkin in west Dublin and a third in the south inner city yesterday morning.
A fourth was detained in the south inner city on Monday and a fifth arrested in Clondalkin shortly after the incident.
Gardai are carrying out forensic examinations on a car seized in the Bluebell area on Monday and a van recovered in Clondalkin after the arrest.
The five men are being held under section 50 of the Criminal Justice Act 2007 and can be detained without charge for up to seven days.
All five are suspected of being linked to a gang involved in burglaries around the city.
Mr Sweeney was assaulted after he and his son Mark (16) struggled with three masked men, who forced their way in through the front door.
The raiders panicked when Mrs Sweeney arrived home and began screaming when she noticed masked men there.
A fourth member of the gang was keeping a lookout and was said to have been in touch with the others using a walkie-talkie.
They made their getaway in a red van and, shortly afterwards, gardai spotted a vehicle with a similar description and intercepted it.
During a previous break-in at the house, the burglars also fled empty-handed when they were disturbed by a family member.
Gardai have appealed to anyone who noticed a red Transit type van in the Dublin 6 area to contact Terenure station at (01) 666 6400, or the confidential line, 1800 666111.