A GRANDFATHER was fighting for his life last night after he sustained horrific head injuries when he was attacked outside his local pub by someone he knew.
It is understood Pat Deasy (57) became involved in the fight because he feared one of his daughters was in danger.
The incident happened outside the Red Cove Inn in Mahon in Cork in the early hours of Saturday morning.
Mr Deasy had been enjoying a 60th birthday party at the pub while another event at the same venue had also attracted a large, younger crowd.
It is understood a fight broke out shortly before 1am on Saturday morning outside the pub.
Mr Deasy was attacked when he went outside to check on the safety of one of his daughters and also his car.
Garda sources said Mr Deasy knew his attacker and the assault was completely unprovoked. Gardai believe he was either pushed or punched to the ground during the incident.
He struck his head after falling, causing a serious brain injury. Witnesses watched as the father of four was repeatedly punched and kicked as he lay on the ground.
He was rushed to Cork University Hospital, where he remained in a critical condition in the intensive care unit last night.
His family were at his bedside as doctors continued to try and save the Cork City Council worker's life.
Gardai are investigating the incident and have been carrying out door-to-door enquiries and examining CCTV footage.
The crime scene, outside the Mahon Community Centre on Avenue De Rennes, Mahon, was sealed off over the weekend as forensic experts carried out a detailed examination.
A large bloodstain was noticeable on the ground at the scene on Saturday afternoon.
"This was a very unfortunate incident... he tried to stop what was going on and he suffered because of it," one source, who didn't wish to be identified, said. "People are in shock in the area, they really are, Pat was enjoying a birthday party and was in great form."
No one has been arrested in connection with the incident as yet.
"Pat worked in the council -- he is a very decent man and highly thought of in Mahon.
"His daughter was married just two months ago and he was out with his family.
"They are in deep shock and have spent the last two days at Patsy's bedside," said a family friend.
Pat Deasy, or Patsy to his friends, is from a large family and lives in Blackrock, Cork.