'I thought he was dead. He’s a very strong man to survive' - partner of great-grandfather left with brain injury after attack
THE partner of a man who was viciously attacked outside his Dublin home has said she thought he had been killed.
Paddy Hansard (73) was left fighting for his life after he was assaulted while returning from a night out with his partner, June on August 17.
He was attacked by a man wearing a Guy Fawkes mask and carrying a weapon in the stairwell leading to his flat at Courtney Place, Ballybough, at about 2.30am.
Mr Hansard suffered three bleeds to the brain and broken bones in his neck, and was unable to recognise relatives after the attack.
June spoke on last night’s Crimecall programme on RTE One about how she had feared the worst.
“I thought he was dead. He’s a very strong man to survive this,” she said.
“What I saw that night frightened the life out of me. My life is upside down right now.”
She and Mr Hansard had been enjoying a night out in their local pub, Clonliffe House, which is a short walk away from their home.
“Paddy was in great form that night, brilliant form, just having a few drinks, having a conversation with the people beside us. He was in great humour,” June said.
She added that the attack has devastated the family.
“Paddy should have been safe going to the pub, coming back home. It’s shattered the peace of our family,” she said.
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Mr Hansard’s daughter, Linda, also spoke on Crimecall about how “the old Paddy is now gone”.
“I don’t think we’ll ever get that man back,” she said.
His brother, Paul, also spoke about the harrowing effect it has had on the family and on his father, who is still seriously ill in hospital.
“The doctor says he has significant brain damage, so it’s life-changing,” he said.
“It shattered a piece of our family, our family are devastated.
“If anybody has any information, no matter how big or small, you need to get that into the guards.”
A vigil was held for Mr Hansard, who was described as a highly-respected member of the Ballybough community, in the aftermath of the cowardly assault.
His daughter said her life had stalled since her father was attacked.
“Life hasn’t moved forward since the early hours of that Saturday morning when I was driving into the hospital,” she said.
“I didn’t know what was facing me. Since then, I haven’t been able to sleep and life has become overwhelming due to what has happened.
“I can’t stop crying, but it’s my way of coping.”
Linda, who is one of five siblings along with Sandra, Debbie, Paul and Mark, said life had changed for them all.
“The father we had seconds before the attack is not the father and man we have now,” she said.
“Not only has his life changed for ever, but so have the lives of his children, grandchildren and great-granddaughter, all of his siblings and close friends.
“In the blink of an eye, so many lives have been changed.”
A man in his 50s who was arrested and questioned about the attack on Mr Hansard was later released without charge.
A file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.