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Pensioner hit with paddle in 'nightmare' attack by 'addict' wanting '20 quid'

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Weapon: Michael Manning (81) holds the paddle he was beaten with when an assailant burst into his home. Photo: Press 22

Weapon: Michael Manning (81) holds the paddle he was beaten with when an assailant burst into his home. Photo: Press 22

Weapon: Michael Manning (81) holds the paddle he was beaten with when an assailant burst into his home. Photo: Press 22

A pensioner who was beaten with a wooden boat paddle by a man who demanded "20 quid" has described the attack as "a nightmare".

Michael Manning (81) tried to fend off the "animal" who attacked him at his home in Limerick city.

The attack occurred around 7am at Mr Manning's home on April 1. The assailant fled without getting cash.

Speaking at his home, Mr Manning said: "I was asleep and he kept knocking on the door.

"I thought there must be something wrong, so I came out of the bed and went out, and he burst in the very minute I opened the door.

"He burst in and his head was all covered, so I couldn't recognise him. I was hit over the head with the paddle, it was shocking.

"I was so puzzled, I didn't know what was going on. I was trying to fight him off. It's a nightmare, so it is."

A neighbour rang gardaí and an ambulance was called.

"I'm on my own and I've never had anything like this in my life, and I'm 81.

"He must be some animal whoever he is. Some of my neighbours said he lived around here one time and he was living somewhere else after," he added.

A source said: "There were three people with balaclavas outside the door. One of them ran in and two others stayed outside. They're all drug addicts.

"The man is 81 years of age, and he got roughed up. Poor old Mick didn't deserve that carry-on.

"He's a very decent guy; he was an easy target."

The two males who kept watch while the third man entered the house are Limerick brothers who are known to gardaí, the source said.

Mr Manning said: "Jesus, it was too early in the morning, I couldn't... I was taken unawares, it's unbelievable. It was totally out of the blue. That hour of the morning I was fast asleep."

He said he tried to fight the intruder off.

"I was trying to get him out. I did my best. The way he came in, you couldn't see his face. He was trying to punch me and I was trying to do the same to him," he said.

"I had no grudge against no one. 'Give me 20 quid,' he said. It's unbelievable..."

Retired councillor and former mayor John Gilligan, who lives in the estate, condemned the attack. He said: "The whole country is pulling together asking everybody to lock down, especially the elderly, who are the most vulnerable in society.

"And while we are doing that there are some people who take an aged and vulnerable person and viciously attack him at his own doorstep.

"That goes against the norms of society and it's a dreadful thing to happen."

Gardaí said their investigations were ongoing.

Irish Independent