Father (23) beaten with clubs in front of his screaming child
A YOUNG man was savagely beaten by a gang who broke into his home and bludgeoned him with clubs and hammers in front of his terrified partner and four-year-old child.
Gardai said the 23-year-old man was very lucky to escape crippling injuries in the vicious attack in the Blarney area of Cork at 11.30pm on Tuesday night.
He is being treated in Cork University Hospital (CUH) for multiple fractures and minor slash and stab wounds. His condition is not life-threatening, though he is expected to remain in hospital for some time.
The attack began as the couple were watching TV in their home and heard a crash at the front door.
A concrete paving slab had been thrown through the glass portion of the front door and five men forced their way into the property.
All five of the attackers are understood to have been masked and armed with clubs, hammers and knives.
They began to beat the young man despite the terrified screams of the young woman and four-year old-child.
The beating continued despite the young man's pleas for them to stop.
Eventually, the woman and child were forced into another room while the beating went on for several minutes.
The gang only fled when the young man was beaten into a semi-conscious state.
The young woman raised the alarm and gardai and paramedics raced to the scene.
The victim was transferred to CUH by ambulance for treatment.
He sustained a broken arm, suspected broken ribs and cuts, bruises and slash wounds.
The woman and child were both uninjured in the attack.
However, both were treated for shock at the scene and were left deeply traumatised by what they witnessed.
They have now gone to stay with relatives.
Gardai investigating the attack said they are keeping an open mind about possible motives.
This includes whether the young man may have been the victim of a case of mistaken identity or if the attack is linked to an earlier incident in Blarney on Monday night.
Gardai began door-to-door inquiries in the quiet residential area to determine if any neighbours spotted the attackers as they fled.
Gurranabraher gardai appealed for anyone who saw suspicious activity in the Tower or Blarney areas from 10pm on Tuesday evening to 1am on Wednesday to contact them.
"This young man was very lucky to have avoided a serious or even crippling injury in what was quite a savage and sustained attack," a garda source said.
"What is particularly disturbing about this attack is that the culprits were willing to carry it out in front of a terrified woman and child."
"It is quite shocking."
Gardai believe the gang left the area in a single vehicle.
Detectives are now checking CCTV security camera footage from the Blarney and Tower areas in a bid to identify the vehicle, its occupants and the direction it was travelling in.