Gardaí investigating a violent attack on a young woman as she walked home alone in Cork now fear she may have been stalked.
The assault occurred last Saturday evening in Cork's south city centre and was described by investigating officers as particularly nasty.
The woman, who is in her 20s, was walking home alone when she was attacked without warning by a man in the Evergreen Street area shortly before 11.30pm.
It is understood she was punched and kicked several times during the attack which left her bruised and battered.
Her attacker ran at her from behind - and knocked the woman to the ground.
Such was the force of one of the blows that the young woman was later treated for a suspected broken jaw.
The woman desperately screamed for help and struggled with her attacker who then fled the scene on foot when locals came to her aid.
She was able to raise the alarm and was taken to Cork University Hospital (CUH) for treatment.
Her injuries were not life threatening.
The woman was treated for bruises and cuts to her face and head as well as a suspected fracture to her jaw.
She was discharged from CUH on Monday.
One Garda source described the attack as "particularly nasty" with the woman having been kicked while lying defenceless on the ground.
Detectives are now examining CCTV security camera footage from the area in a bid to determine the movements of the attacker.
The motive for the attack remains unclear.
However, gardaí believe the attacker may have stalked the young woman for some distance from the city centre before attacking her.
Gardaí have appealed for anyone who spotted suspicious activity in the area last Saturday to contact them.
It is understood they have obtained a good description of the attacker.