A WOMAN in her 20s was stabbed in the face in O'Connell Street last night.
Witnesses said the victim was singled out in the assault and kicked and beaten to the ground then slashed in the face just after 8pm.
The woman was rushed to the Mater Hospital where her condition was said to be not life-threatening.
Passers-by watched in horror as two groups of people became embroiled in a "loud row" at the junction of O'Connell Street and Sackville Place, beside Clerys department store.
"There were five or six people, mainly men, and there was a lot of shouting at first and then one man started attacking a woman," a witness said.
"He beat her to the ground and he was kicking her, and it went on for a few minutes before the attacker and others ran away in different directions. It was horrible.
"They left her not moving, like she was laying there dead.
"Then the gardai and an ambulance arrived very quickly."
A garda spokesman confirmed a woman had been admitted to hospital with suspected stab wounds to her face.
She was rushed by ambulance to the Mater Hospital where her injuries were last night described by emergency staff as "serious".
Gardai sealed off the scene of the attack pending a forensic examination, and used plastic sheeting, garda forensic bags and a street advertising sign to shield any potential evidence from rain.
Bloodstains could be seen on the street where the woman was attacked.
Gardai said the victim, aged 24, regained consciousness after admission to the hospital where she was being treated for multiple injuries.
No arrests were made in the hours after the attack.
However, gardai said last night that they were confident of making progress in their investigations.
By Conor Feehan