Wednesday 18 September 2019

Family vigil for great grandfather in coma after attack

'Wonderful human being': Paddy Hansard (73) is in an induced coma after he suffered brain injuries in a brutal attack. Photo: MAXPIX
'Wonderful human being': Paddy Hansard (73) is in an induced coma after he suffered brain injuries in a brutal attack. Photo: MAXPIX

Sarah Slater

The family of a great grandfather fighting for his life following a violent attack at his home have described him as "the most gentle, quiet and fun loving man".

Paddy Hansard (73) suffered serious head injuries and broken bones in his neck due to a horrific attack which took place at around 2.30am eight days ago at the Courtney Place flat complex in Ballybough, Dublin.

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Family: Paddy Hansard (extreme right) with his brother and sisters (from left), Lilly, Paul, Imelda, Patty, Martha and Paddy. Photo: MAXPIX
Family: Paddy Hansard (extreme right) with his brother and sisters (from left), Lilly, Paul, Imelda, Patty, Martha and Paddy. Photo: MAXPIX

The highly-respected family man, who has five adult children, along with four brothers and 11 sisters, was rushed to the nearby Mater Hospital by emergency services, where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

Gardai continue to carry out house-to-house enquiries in Dublin's north inner city. Following the attack, a vigil was organised by a friend of Mr Hansard's, Lorraine Gavin.

A man in his 50s was arrested and questioned for a time. He was subsequently released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions.

Mr Hansard, who worked with three of his brothers in the construction trade as a scaffolder, suffered three bleeds to his brain. He remains in a coma and is still unable to breath unaided. On behalf of his family and partner June, who are continuing a bedside rota to be close to him, Mr Hansard's brother Paul said he was the "last person who deserved to end up like this [fighting for his life] as he, along with the entire family, are highly respected, hard working and community people who care for one another."

He said what happened to Mr Hansard is still vague. "Paddy was out having a drink, which he normally has in Clonliffe House, which has been his local for a number of years. He goes out on a Friday and Saturday night and has his own seat in the pub.

"Paddy just loves to enjoy himself and he doesn't cause anyone any hassle as he is a very private person despite being known all over the city. He goes to dos, parties and where there's music.

"There is no aggressiveness or controversy in his life and he doesn't want to know about any of that. All he wants to be is happy and he loves where he has been living for the past 15 or so years."

Mr Hansard said numerous family members got phone-calls to go up to the hospital. "When we got there, we were told that two of the bleeds to his brain were small but the third was quite large. Thankfully those bleeds have now stopped," he said. "The doctors have told us that only time will tell as to how he will be as they attempt to bring him out of his induced coma.

"We keep chatting to him as the nurses have told us to do that, but we don't know what he can hear. The doctors have told us that the brain can repair itself. As a family we are still very emotional and very angry because he is just a wonderful human being."

He urged that there should to be no recrimination on any individual or individuals. "No-one speaks for us legally other than the gardai," he said. "We have absolute, total faith in them to do their job."

Anyone with information is asked to contact Mountjoy Garda Station on 01-6668601, the Garda Confidential Line 18000 666 111 or any Garda station.

Sunday Independent

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