Son (14) to the rescue as dad loses finger in feud attack
A 14-year-old boy drove his seriously injured father to hospital yesterday after their car was attacked by at least three men in an incident believed to be linked to an ongoing internal Traveller family feud.
The man lost part of a finger and sustained serious facial injuries in the attack, which occurred in broad daylight on a busy street in Ennis, Co Clare.
The incident occurred a short distance from Ennis National School at around 3pm.
The 43-year-old man had just collected his two young children from the school when at least three men pulled up in a black car.
The gang attacked the car with an axe and an iron bar. After smashing the windows, the gang turned their attention to the driver.
In an effort to defend himself and his children, the man lost part of a finger and suffered serious injuries to his face and shoulder as well as minor cuts.
The quick-thinking teenager picked up his father's severed finger and placed it in a milk carton before racing to Ennis General Hospital. The two younger children were uninjured.
Up to 20 members of the injured man's family later gathered outside the A&E department. While the man was being assessed inside, gardai arrived to ensure tempers did not flare.
Shortly before 5pm, however, a black 4X4 pulled up outside the hospital and two men began shouting abuse at rivals. Gardai persuaded them to leave.
In the meantime, additional gardai, including members of the armed Regional Support Unit, arrived to assist their colleagues. Two RSU units remained on patrol in Ennis last night. while checkpoints were set up across the town.
The injured man was transferred to University Hospital Galway, where surgeons were last night trying to reattach the finger.