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Sunday 18 February 2018

Man lost his sense of smell following unprovoked city centre attack

The attack occurred in Dublin.
The attack occurred in Dublin.

Aishling Phelan

A man lost his sense of smell and sustained a fractured skull after he was punched during a ''completely unprovoked attack'' in Dublin city centre.

The last thing Neil Smyth can remember is leaving a pub with a friend before he was struck by another man on the street and thrown to the ground.

Mr Smyth was in hospital for two weeks with a fractured skull and bleeding to the brain.

''The back of the skull, it jugged forward so I was in hospital and it took a while to get back to full health,'' he told Joe Duffy on RTE's Liveline.

''I don't remember any of [it] because I got a punch in the side of the head, hit the ground and was taken to hospital,'' he explained.

He couldn't remember most of the attack after sustaining a serious head injury.

''I don't remember about ten minutes of memory either side of the event, I just remember being in hospital then later,'' he explained.

He began his night having a few drinks with his friend as part of Dublin's Culture night last September.

''We went down to another pub on Wellington Quay and we met some friends on the quays,'' he recalled.

The group began to split and Mr Smyth was left with just one other friend so they went for a drink in a nearby pub.

''Outside the pub myself and my friend were walking beside three lads and from what I've been told they had American accents,'' he said.

CCTV footage was found which showed that the festivalgoer did not provoke the incident.

''I don't know if I was knocked out by the punch or knocked out from the ground but my friend said he turned around and saw me hitting the ground,'' he said.

Mr Smyth said he was back to full health since the injury except for his loss of smell which was the result of the brain injury.

''It was about three weeks after I got home, it affects your sense of taste because all you're really left with is your taste buds on the tongue.''

He explained how doctors told him that 80 per cent of flavour is detected through smell.

''I was noticing that flavour didn't have what it used to have and everything was a bit bland.

''The penny didn't really drop until I realised I couldn't smell my deodorant,'' he said.

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