A WICKLOW SPORTSMAN is recovering in hospital after he was beaten across the head with a fire extinguisher in an unprovoked attack during the early hours of Sunday morning.
28-year-old BA Franey was left with head injuries following the assault in Wicklow town and was rushed to St. Vincent's Hospital in Dublin. He was later transferred to Beaumont Hospital for scans.
Gardai believe BA was assaulted by two Dublin men as he tried to intervene in a row involving a woman.
The vicious attack took place just after 3 a.m. in Bridge Street. Gardai forensics sealed off the area for examination and investigating officers are reviewing CCTV footage of the area from the time of the assault.
Popular BA is from St. Dominic's Road in Wicklow town and plays with St. Patrick's GAA Junior Bs and Wicklow Rovers FC.
St. Patrick's members are rallying around BA and his parents, Anthony and June.
Cllr. Sean 'Smokey' Smullen, a former St. Pat's Club Chairman has voiced his 'disgust' at the assault. ' The whole club is in shock,' he said.
'BA is a lovely young fellow and has never been in any trouble. He is well-known and liked around the town. It's disgusting that an assault like this could happen to anyone, yet alone someone as nice as BA. The club will do everything it can to support Anthony and June during this horrifying ordeal.'
As well as sustaining injuries from being hit across the head with the fire extinguisher, BA may also have suffered further injuries after his head struck the ground.