The father-in-law of gangster 'Fat' Freddie Thompson was left with extremely serious head injuries after a thug attacked him with a scooter.
The shocking incident unfolded in the capital's south inner city on Sunday night when a 33-year-old criminal from Cabra attacked Noel 'Jack' Dempsey (58) shortly after 10.30pm.
Sources told the Herald that gardai are investigating whether the incident is connected to a personal dispute between the suspect and 'Jack' who is the father of Freddie Thompson's wife Vicky Dempsey.
It is understood that the Cabra man picked up the scooter and threw it at 'Jack' in the Robert Emmet Walk area of the city after an argument got out of hand.
Mr Dempsey managed to flee the scene and it is believed that he collapsed on a footpath in Cork Street, near the Coombe Hospital, before emergency services were notified at around 12.20am yesterday.
The grandfather was later rushed to St James' Hospital by ambulance where he remained last night in a stable condition.
'Jack', who is from Stanaway Road in Crumlin, south Dublin, had bleeding on his brain when he was first admitted to the hospital which is located close to where he was attacked.
His condition was first classified as critical.
Gardai have interviewed but not arrested the younger Cabra man who is alleged to have carried out the brutal assault and are not looking for anyone else in relation to the attack.
The scooter used in the attack has been seized by gardai and has been forensically examined by garda specialists.
A source explained: "It is highly unusual for someone to use a scooter to inflict serious head injuries on another person - it is almost unprecedented but that is what happened here."
Residents on Robert Emmet Walk reported hearing screaming and shouting on Sunday night as well as bottles being smashed.
"There was an assault. All I know is that there was some person assaulted. There were sirens and that," a woman told the Herald.
"It was about half 11 last night. I heard screaming," she added.
A young woman said her little brother was walking to school yesterday morning and saw forensic gardai carrying out an examination of the scene.
"I heard screaming but I don't know what went on," she added, saying she also heard "bottles being smashed. It kept stopping and starting again," she said.
Her brother said it happened on the stairs leading to another apartment and "there was lots of blood".
It is not believed that the savage assault is linked to any gangland criminality.