Two men fighting for their lives after separate attacks near their homes
Two men in their 20s were fighting for their lives last night after separate attacks in counties Wicklow and Offaly.
One of the victims was in a critical condition after receiving head injuries during an assault. The second man was stabbed and is also in a critical condition.
Both attacks happened at around 1am yesterday.
The Co Wicklow victim was named locally as David Kirwan, also known as David Foley.
He was walking in the direction of his house on Rowan Grove in the Fassaroe area of Bray with someone known to him in the early hours of yesterday morning when an argument developed between the two at James Everett Park on the outskirts of the town.
Mr Kirwan (28) acts as a carer for his brother, locals said. .
"The two of them live locally in a bungalow. They haven't been there that long and are doing it up slowly. Everyone is shocked by this," said one neighbour.
"They keep to themselves mostly. We just see them coming and going," she said.
"It appears that a row broke out and Mr Kirwan was assaulted and injured as a result," said a source.
"The man who attacked him stayed at the scene afterwards and was arrested for questioning."
He was detained at Bray garda station. Late on Sunday night the man was released without charge. A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.
Locals helped Mr Kirwan until the emergency services arrived and he was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.
But it was later decided to transfer him to Beaumont Hospital, which specialises in head injuries. His condition there was described as critical.
The scene was sealed off by gardaí pending a forensic examination by members of the Garda Technical Bureau.
A large bloodstain could be seen on the cobblelock paving at the spot where Mr Kirwan had collapsed.
James Everett Park ends in a cul-de-sac at the point where the attack took place, but pedestrians are able to walk through it to a local shop and into the Fassaroe area.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information, particularly those who were in Bray town centre and the Little Bray, Fassaroe and James Everett Park areas between 1am and 2am to contact them.
The second attack occurred at McAuley Drive in Birr, Co Offaly, at around 1am yesterday.
An investigation is under way after the victim, named locally as Darragh Daly, was discovered on the ground with stab wounds.
He is from McAuley drive and the attack took place close to his home.
"Gardaí were called to the scene and discovered the injured man with an apparent stab wound. There was also significant blood loss and a knife was found nearby," said a source close to the investigation.
A man was arrested in the vicinity and is being questioned by gardaí.
He is being detained at Birr garda station.
The injured man, who is in his mid 20s, was taken to the Midland Regional Hospital, Tullamore, where his condition was described as critical.
The scene was been sealed off pending a technical examination.
Gardaí are appealing to witnesses or anyone who saw anything suspicious in the McAuley Drive, Townsend Street, New Road or Pound Street areas of Birr between 12.30am and 1.30am yesterday to come forward.
Anyone with information can contact Birr garda station on 057 91 69710, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.