Saturday 20 January 2018

Young man (21) critical after attack 'may have been trying to protect another man in row'

TJ Duffy (21) undergoes brain surgery after attack near nightclub

Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

A young man remains in a critical condition today after sustaining serious head injuries after he was assaulted during a brawl on a busy street.

TJ Duffy (21), from Ardee, Co Louth, underwent brain surgery yesterday in Beaumont Hospital.

Mr Duffy was assaulted in Carrickmacross, Co Monaghan, shortly before 4am on Saturday.

The incident occurred outside Paddy Power's bookmakers, close to Fiddler's nightclub, where a number of people had been socialising at the time.

"There seems to have been a row involving a number of young men and it is possible the victim may have been trying to protect another man who was being attacked when he was struck or pushed," a source said.

It is not known if Mr Duffy's injuries occurred as a direct result of being struck or if he hit his head while falling.

Mr Duffy was found by a passer-by lying on the road. He got medical assistance before being taken to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda. He was then transferred to Beaumont Hospital in Dublin which specialises in head injuries.

His condition there was described as critical last night.

Mr Duffy had to have surgery on what was believed to be a clot on his brain.

The main suspect in the attack is a man in his 20s and was possibly known to the victim or his wider circle of friends.

He is said to have fled the scene on foot via an alleyway off the town's Main Street.

While no arrests had been made by last night, it is believed gardaí are following a particular line of inquiry.

"People are shocked and there are different stories doing the rounds as to what happened and who may have been involved," said Ardee councillor Dolores Minogue.

"We're all hoping he makes a speedy and full recovery."

Mr Duffy works in the Louth Arms pub in Tallanstown, Co Louth.

It's understood he lives in nearby Ardee, and travelled some 21km to Carrickmacross on Saturday night to socialise with friends.

"The customers are saying he is still in an induced coma following surgery," one worker at the Louth Arms said.

The first 24 to 48 hours after serious surgery are a critical time for a patient and local sources say the young man's family are at his bedside.

He has one sibling who is also his twin.

Gardaí are appealing for anyone with information, particularly those who may have been in the vicinity of Main Street, Carrickmacross, between 3.30am and 4.15am on Saturday to contact Carrickmacross garda station on 042 9690190 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666111.

Irish Independent

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