A 28-year-old man is fighting for his life in hospital after being attacked in Bray, Co Wicklow.
The victim was found lying unconscious on the footpath at James Everett Park on the outskirts of the town at 1.45am this morning.
Locals stayed with him until the emergency services arrived and he was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital.
But it was later decided to transfer him to Beaumont Hospital which specialises in head injuries.
His condition there is described as critical.
A man has been arrested in connection to the assault.
The scene was sealed off by gardai pending a forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau.
A large bloodstain could be seen on the cobblelock paving at the spot where the victim had collapsed.
The victim is from the Fassaroe area not far from where he was found.
It is believed he may have been making his way home when he was attacked.
James Everett Park ends in a vehicular cul de sac at the point where the attack took place, but pedestrians are able to walk through it to a local shop and into the Fassaroe area.
“Nobody is really sure what happened. I can home at around 1am and the man definitely wasn't there then, but then I hear that other neighbours discovered him at around 2.15am and stayed with him until the ambulance arrived,” one local woman told Independent.ie.
Gardaí are appealing for witnesses and anyone with information, particularly those who were in Bray Town Centre and the Little Bray, Fassaroe and James Everett Park areas between 1am and 2am to contact them.