Two young men are recovering from injuries after an unprovoked attack late at night in the centre of Wexford town.
The two cousins aged 27 and 25 were both viciously assaulted in a random attack on the street over a week ago.
The pair were hospitalised after being targeted by a group of males as they walked through SuperValu car park to get a taxi.
One sustained a serious head injury and suffered a seizure after he was punched unconscious in the early hours of Sunday morning.
His cousin suffered three broken ribs and facial injuries – he managed to escape from his attackers and ran away but was chased by the gang as far as the Talbot Hotel.
The victims who are from Kildare were in Wexford for the Confirmation of a young cousin who lives in Barntown.
After the family celebration, they went out for the night with an 18 year old relative.
They visited a few bars and attended a nightclub.
At about 3 a.m., they were walking through Keywest with the intention of getting a taxi back to Barntown when a passing male shouted to one of the cousins and asked him what he was looking at. He ignored him but the young man persisted, saying: 'I'm talking to you'.
He then punched the Kildare man in the face, knocking him to the ground, kicking him where he lay.
The victim smashed his head as he hit the ground and remembered nothing else until he woke up later in hospital.
The cousin went to his assistance and was attacked by four other males.
He sustained three fractured ribs in the second assault as well as facial injuries and bruising to his liver.
Despite this, he managed to get away and ran down the quays towards the Talbot Hotel, wildly pursued by the men.
Meanwhile, the 18-year-old escaped from the scene of the attack and fled along the Main Street.
He telephoned his mother, who was staying in an aunt's house in Barntown, and told her what had happened.
Meanwhile, a female passer-by went to the assistance of the victim who lay unconscious on the ground.
Two separate ambulances were called to take the cousins to Wexford General Hospital, where they were treated for their injuries.
All three men were shocked and distressed after the incident.
Family members rushed to the hospital and found the two cousins lying on trolleys, bloodied and bruised.
The following day, the parents of one of the victims was by his bedside in hospital when he suffered a seizure.
'It was very scary. He said he felt sick and then he started shaking violently. He was frothing from the nose and mouth,' said his father, a native of Gorey. 'The doctors told us that a head injury can sometimes cause seizures.'
The Kildare man had to undergo a brain scan to rule out more serious head trauma.
His eyes and nose were swollen and he had a burst lip.
One of the cousins is in the Irish Army and the other is a self-employed forester. Both are out of work as they recuperate from the physical and mental effects of the attack.