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Man (20s) sustains 60 stitches to face after being stabbed in Christmas Day family dispute

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A man sustained around 60 stitches to his face after he was stabbed during a dispute between two families on Christmas Day, gardai said.

The serious assault occurred in the town of Rathkeale, Co Limerick, around 8.30pm, on December 25, gardai confirmed yesterday.

Detectives investigating the attack are believed to be following a definite line of enquiry.

"Gardai are investigating an alleged assault that occurred in the Fairhill area of Rathkeale on December 25 at approximately 8.30pm," stated a Garda spokesman.

"A male in his 20s received stab wounds to his face with a bottle and was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment. No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing," he added.

Garda sources said the incident was linked to "tensions between two local families".

"It's a local family dispute," a source said.

"An incident happened on the street and a man received a significant number of stitches to his facial area. There were close to 60 stitches. He certainly did receive serious injuries. Initially there hadn't been a complaint, but the injured party has now made a complaint to gardai, and we are satisfied that we have identified a suspect."

It's understood the suspect is not currently residing in the area.

A major policing plan was put into place in the town for the Christmas period involving armed garda patrols, the garda divisional drug unit, and divisional traffic unit.

The HSE provided a "triage clinic" in the town from December 20 to January 4.

Speed ramps were also erected by Limerick City and County Council as speeding by young people driving "high-powered cars" has been a problem in recent years, gardai have stated.

The plan was implemented in response to concerns by the local community about large increases in the community population traditionally occurring in the Rathkeale over the Christmas and New Year.

Sunday Independent