St Patrick's Day victim struck as he tried to get his hat
A Brazilian student, who was knocked unconscious after being kicked in the head following the St Patrick's Day parade in Dublin, was savagely attacked because he attempted to retrieve his stolen hat.
The 30-year-old victim, who was taken back into hospital yesterday because of his injuries, had been wearing a special "Irish" hat to mark the celebrations.
He was standing outside a bookies premises at Aston Quay when his hat was taken by two teenagers.
The man attempted to recover the hat and was knocked to the ground.
He was kicked at least twice during the incident and one kick to the head knocked him out.
Gardai have dismissed claims that the attack followed an earlier incident involving a girl and said the vicious assault was carried out solely because he wanted to retrieve his hat.
The victim, who is a language student in Dublin, was taken to hospital but discharged himself after treatment seven hours later.
He was not identified by gardai until Wednesday afternoon and agreed to turn up at Pearse Street station yesterday to be interviewed.
However, when he arrived at the station, gardai became seriously concerned about his facial injuries, including what appeared to be a fractured jaw.
The victim was then taken to St Vincent's hospital for further treatment.
Investigating officers have already admitted they had been shocked by the savagery of the assault, which was filmed and then posted on the internet.
As a result of follow-up inquiries, officers said last night they were making significant progress in the investigation.
Two suspects, aged 16 and 17 years, were arrested by officers yesterday evening in the south inner city area.
They were taken to Pearse Street station where they were being held for questioning last night under section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act and can be detained without charge for 24 hours, excluding rest periods.
Meanwhile, officers from Store Street arrested five men in connection with an assault at Parnell Street in the north inner city on Wednesday afternoon.
They were later released without charge. A file will now be prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions, who will determine if criminal charges should be brought.
The 42-year-old victim was later treated for his injuries at the Mater hospital.