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Sunday 22 September 2019

Great-grandfather (75) in coma after being attacked 'in dispute over noise'

Injuries: Paddy Hansard is described by neighbours as a quiet and well respected family man
Injuries: Paddy Hansard is described by neighbours as a quiet and well respected family man
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A great-grandfather was fighting for his life in hospital last night after being attacked close to his Dublin home in the early hours of Saturday.

Paddy Hansard (75) was allegedly brutally attacked by a neighbour at around 2.30am in a dispute over noise at the Courtney Place flat complex where he lives in Ballybough, in the north inner city.

Father-of-five Mr Hansard suffered serious head and spinal injuries when he was attacked.

Local sources said gardaí had removed a number of items from the scene, including bloodstained clothing, a shovel and a mask.

They said Mr Hansard, a relative of singer Glen Hansard, had been involved in a verbal row with someone who lives locally.

"There have been complaints to the council about noise and parties, and it seems Paddy was having words with the man about noise levels when things escalated," they explained.

Mr Hansard was rushed to the Mater Hospital, where he was in a coma last night.

"He has head and spinal injuries and he's still in a coma. The doctors say it is too early to say how bad it might be," one local told the Irish Independent.

"He's just a gentleman who has never been in trouble. All he did was work hard all his life and go out on a Friday and Saturday.

"He was on his way home when this happened," she added.

It is understood Mr Hansard had two bleeds to the brain which have been brought under control and the next concern is the spinal injuries, which may require surgery.

A more definitive plan will be made when his condition is assessed by his medical team.

His condition in hospital was yesterday described as "critical, but stable".

Gardaí in Mountjoy investigating the serious assault arrested a man in his 50s on Saturday.

He was released without charge yesterday evening and a file will be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Hansard worked in the building trade as a scaffolder, and had recently retired.

Local councillor Nial Ring, who knows Mr Hansard, said the attack had caused shock in the local community.

"It's horrendous. My mother still lives around there. All the older people around there can't believe it and are in shock," he said.

"They're not afraid to go out but they're very apprehensive after something like that has happened to someone, particularly an older person.

"Paddy is just a guy who goes about his business and loves his family. He very much kept himself to himself.

"The Hansards would be a very well respected family in Ballybough.

Vulnerable

"They would be one of the older families in Ballybough.

"Everyone in the area is thinking of Paddy and he will be mentioned in the church."

Neighbours described Mr Hansard as a quiet man who is well liked and respected in the area.

"What happened to him was terrible. He lives a quiet life and likes a few pints in the local at the weekend," said one man.

"Everyone is very upset that such a vulnerable man could be attacked with such violence.".

The scene was preserved for a time pending a forensic examination by gardaí and investigations are ongoing.

Irish Independent

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