A MAN left critically injured when raiders forced their way into his home and hit him twice on the head with a hammer has undergone emergency surgery in the hospital where he works.
Gardai believe the victim – a 50-year-old Filipino – and his housemates were mistaken for businessmen who kept cash in their rented home at Knockmore Grove, Tallaght, Co Dublin.
The victim is a member of the support staff at Tallaght Hospital and lives in the house with three other men.
Two of the housemates had gone to work when two members of the three- or four-man gang forced in the front door and ran upstairs.
The victim jumped out of bed and was met on the landing by the burglars, who were armed with the hammer and either a knife or an iron bar.
His housemate, who had been asleep in his room, escaped barefoot through an upstairs window.
Gardai said the victim tried to defend himself, and left a trail of blood around the house while the intruders screamed at him and demanded cash.
They ransacked the house and then ran off, leaving the man with a fractured skull.
Gardai said last night that a laptop might have been taken during the incident, which occurred at around 7am, but no money was stolen.
One garda officer said last night: "This was a vicious attack. It was either a case of mistaken identity or the gang thought their victims were involved in a cash business, such as a restaurant."
One neighbour, who went into the house after the attack, said blood was spattered on the stairs and hallway walls, and a bloody handprint was visible on the front door.
Another neighbour who witnessed the incident said: "My girlfriend woke me up saying, 'They're killing him, they're killing him'."
He said he saw the victim struggling with the burglars at the front door. "They kept going back into the house, in and out. They weren't letting it go."
He described the occupants of the house as "gentle folk who'd keep to themselves".
A worker at the nearby Discount Fuel Deals garage said he recognised the housemate who ran in to raise the alarm as a regular customer.
Another neighbour said she begged the raiders to stop attacking her neighbour.
She said: "I had my blinds up and shouted, 'Will you leave him alone'. Please God, he's all right."