Friday 15 December 2017

Man fighting for life after savage attack

The man is at Beaumont Hospital. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins
The man is at Beaumont Hospital. Photo: Gareth Chaney Collins

Ken Foy

A MAN is clinging to life at Dublin's Beaumont Hospital after he was the victim of a savage assault in the Temple Bar area of the capital.

As part of an investigation by detectives based at Pearse Street garda station, two teenage males were arrested in dawn raids in the city yesterday.

The victim – Gerard McManus (39) from the Sheriff Street area of the north inner Dublin – remained in a critical condition in an induced coma after the brutal attack at Temple Lane South at 2am on Wednesday of last week.

Sources say that McManus, who did not previously know the teens, was punched at least twice, including once as he lay on the ground.

It is suspected that his attackers then picked him up and threw him back on the ground – an incident which more than likely caused his serious head injuries.

Mr McManus, who is known to gardai for burglary offences, was admitted to the hospital with severe head injuries which included bleeding on the brain.

Sources say that McManus has not regained consciousness since the horrific incident and there are major fears that he may die or will be left permanently brain damaged.

He had only recently been released from prison where he had served a short sentence when he was set upon by two teenagers in Temple Bar.

The incident sparked a major investigation which was aided by CCTV images obtained by officers which in turn led to yesterday morning's arrests.

Gardai are investigating whether the savage assault is linked to an earlier verbal altercation in the Temple Bar area between the two parties.

Both of the arrested suspects reside in Dublin and sources say that one of the men is from a respectable family who live  on the capital's northside.

The other arrested teen has been staying in hostel accommodation in the city centre in recent weeks but is originally from Co Meath. Both are aged 18 and neither are drug addicts, according to sources.

The Meath-born suspect has been causing major concern for gardai and only last weekend officers caught him in possession of an 18-inch bread knife in the Temple Bar area.

There has been an upsurge in anti-social behaviour in the Temple Bar area which has led to officers setting up a number of targeted operations to deal with the issues.

Gardai at Pearse Street have been running a number of undercover operations to target the gangs operating in Temple Bar – these are Operation Pier and Operation Viking.

Under Operation Viking, teams of trained undercover officers have been tackling the young criminals.

While under Operation Pier, uniformed officers have been using public order legislation to prevent junkies from gathering in the area.

Officers have also been using state-of-the-art CCTV cameras in Pearse Street station to identify targets.

Earlier this month, the Herald published disturbing CCTV images of a separate incident in which a cafe owner was attacked at Fownes Street, which is located near Temple Lane South, in which the victim was attacked by a group of 25 youths – both male and female.

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