Thursday 14 December 2017

'I was a minute away from bleeding to death' - World champion powerlifter stabbed three times on night out

Warning, graphic images show injuries suffered by Thomas Gleeson in Dublin assault

Thomas Gleeson. Picture: Arthur Carron
Thomas Gleeson. Picture: Arthur Carron
Cathal McMahon

Cathal McMahon

A world champion powerlifter has told how he is lucky to be alive after he was stabbed three times on a night out in Dublin.

Thomas Gleeson (24) lost four litres of blood and was given 10 shots of adrenalin after the unprovoked attack in the early hours of Tuesday morning.

Now he has revealed that his dream of winning another world title lies in tatters as he will be unable to compete in qualifiers for the world championship next month.

Speaking exclusively to Independent.ie Mr Gleeson, from Leixlip Co Kildare, said: "I lost three or four litres of blood and I nearly died. I was a minute away from bleeding out.

The injury to Thomas Gleeson's shoulder and back. Picture: Thomas Gleeson
The injury to Thomas Gleeson's shoulder and back. Picture: Thomas Gleeson

"I’m a big fella, I’m a weightlifter. If it wasn’t for the size of me I would be gone."

Mr Gleeson is currently in the middle of his final exams for his Masters in Strategic Management from DCU and he decided to take a break from studying on Monday evening.

He travelled to meet a friend in a bar on Andrew’s Lane in Dublin's south inner city and while standing outside for a cigarette he was approached by the suspected attacker.

"He asked me for a smoke. I told him to leave and he wouldn’t go so I called the bouncer over to get rid of him."

Mr Gleeson explained that he thought nothing more of it and a half hour later, at around 12.30am, he walked to the Londis shop on Dame Street to buy a box of tobacco.

But while crossing the road to return to the bar the was set upon

The injury to Thomas Gleeson's forearm. Picture: Thomas Gleeson
The injury to Thomas Gleeson's forearm. Picture: Thomas Gleeson

"Just before I got to the kerb I got three stabs to the back.

"I turned around and I saw him wielding a bloody knife going for my face. He was going for me so I hit him a dig in the head and he just dropped,” Mr Gleeson explained.

"I was clutching my wounds the whole time because it was bleeding really heavily. Even though it was only a few seconds after I was stabbed I was drenched in blood at this stage.

"I held the wounds and I asked the bouncers to call an ambulance and within five minutes the ambulance, fire brigade and police were all there."

The student was brought by ambulance to St James’s Hospital where medical staff spent three hours stitching up the injuries to his arms, neck and back.

Mr Gleeson explained that he was given "10 shots of adrenalin" during the treatment.

He has given permission to Independent.ie to republish the pictures of his shocking injuries.

"He slashed me deep into the muscle on the forearm so it was hanging.

"He got me in the neck, back, arm and shoulder. My whole forearm was open from top to bottom."

The cut on his back is 10cm long and two inches deep while the cut to his forearm is 10.5cm long and one inch deep.

However he explained that it is not the pain that bothers him.

Mr Gleeson holds two junior world titles and one Irish title in powerlifting and his injuries will mean he cannot compete in the World Championship qualifiers next month.

"I’m just really p***ed off to be honest with the inconvenience of it. My goal was to win the World Championships. I have the numbers to win it and the qualifiers are next month but I can’t do that now.

"This was my goal for 2017 and it’s gone now. I can’t compete because if I lift the stitches will open. It’s devastating."

Mr Gleeson advised all others to be careful on night’s out in the capital.

Thomas Gleeson, Leixlip who was stabbed on a night out in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron
Thomas Gleeson, Leixlip who was stabbed on a night out in Dublin. Picture: Arthur Carron

"Be very careful on the streets, have your wits about you all the time. Dublin can be a very dangerous city," he warned.

Gardaí at Pearse Street station arrested a 24-year-old man in connection with the attack.

Online Editors

Promoted Links

Today's news headlines, directly to your inbox every morning.

Promoted Links

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News