A 16-year-old boy was subjected to a terrifying ordeal when five thugs broke into his family home and beat him with sticks.
The attack happened at a house in the Fernleigh Drive estate in Castleknock, north Dublin, at around 8.30pm on Sunday.
It is understood that five young men, who were all wearing hoodies, smashed a front window to get into the property.
It is believed the victim's mother and sister were in the house at the time, but the thugs were intent on finding the teenager, who was in an upstairs bedroom.
They rushed into the room and beat the boy with sticks before running off.
The boy suffered cuts and bruises and was taken to Temple Street Children's Hosp- ital, where his injuries were described as non-life-threatening.
His mother and sister were uninjured.
The incident is being investigated by Blanchardstown gardai, but no arrests have yet been made.
Neighbours said they heard breaking glass in the estate and a short time later an ambulance attended and medics treated someone at the scene before removing them to hospital.
Jane Park (23) said she heard screaming outside following the incident.
"I was actually the first one to hear. All I heard was a lot of thumping," she said.
"Then I heard glass breaking really loudly and a woman screaming.
"It was a lot of banging and a lot of screaming.
"We didn't actually see the attackers or anything."
Her brother James (20) said his mother had been left severely shaken by the attack.
"We heard a very loud noise. I was in the shower so I didn't know what was going on. My sister thought I had fallen in the bathtub," he said.
"I've seen the lad playing around with his mates, but that's about it. My mum is scared."
There was evidence of the break-in at the house yesterday. A pane of glass in the windows at the front of the house was broken where the men had gained access.
Shards of glass littered the front garden and the missing window was covered by a sheet of clear plastic film.
"Gardai are trying to establish an exact motive for the attack on the teenage boy," a source said last night.
"This was a very serious incident, but thankfully the victim is expected to make a full recovery.
"The occupants of the house have been left in a very traumatised state."
Sources said the incident was "highly unusual" and is being investigated as an aggravated burglary.
The occupants of the house are in no way involved in crime, and it is believed that the injured boy's father works as a taxi driver.