Gardaí hunt for 'very violent' attacker who left mother for dead
- Manhunt continues for assailant
- Serious assault happened in early hours of Sunday morning
- Victim is aged in her fifties
A manhunt is continuing for an assailant who violently attacked a woman on the grounds of a castle over the weekend.
The serious assault happened in the early hours of Sunday morning, as the mother - who is aged in her 50s - was returning to her nearby home.
Gardai believe she was subjected to a "very violent" attack at around 4am on the grounds of Pollerton Castle, Co Carlow.
Shockingly, the woman was left for dead and was only discovered, unconscious, around nine hours after the assault took place.
The victim was rushed to St Luke's Hospital, Co Kilkenny, where she remains in a serious condition.
Gardai have not disclosed the nature of her injuries for operational reasons.
Detectives have established that the woman was in contact with her daughter at 2.30am and was close to her home at the time.
At this stage they have not been able to interview the victim and have yet to establish a clear motive for the attack.
Gardai are particularly keen to speak to a couple who were walking in the area around this time.
"This was a very serious assault and gardai are desperate for help. This woman had no known enemies and there was no known threat to her," a senior source said.
The man who discovered the unconscious woman said that he was still in shock.
"I was told not to comment on what I had seen, but I just hope that this woman is OK. We're all very shocked here," he said.
Superintendent Gerry Redmond said gardai are especially keen to speak with any taxi drivers, delivery workers or anyone who may have been travelling in the area with dash cameras.
He said they are focused on the Pollerton Road, Staplestown Road and St Patrick's Avenue area of the town.
Local Sinn Fein councillor Jim Deane said he was very distressed by the news.
"I haven't heard a whole lot about what happened, but many people around the town are talking about this awful incident," Cllr Deane said.
"Whatever the circumstances are it's truly a horrific thing to have happened. The castle is located in a very beautiful area of Carlow and is not too far away from the main town."
Cllr Deane said he hoped gardai would bring swift justice to whoever was responsible for the assault.
"It's a very distressing situation for everyone. I hope this poor, unfortunate girl who is the victim of this assault makes a speedy recovery," he said.
"I also hope gardai will bring the person who did this to her to justice fast."
Investigating gardai are currently appealing for anyone who was in the area in the early hours of Sunday to contact them.
"Gardai wish to appeal for witnesses and in particular to anyone who travelled on Staplestown Road, St Patrick's Avenue or Pollerton Road between the hours of 2am and 5am to contact them," a garda statement said.
"In addition, gardai are appealing to any drivers that may have travelled these roads between the above times and have footage from dash cams to contact them at Carlow Garda Station on 059-9136620."