An assault victim has told gardai he was forced to eat part of his ear, which had been severed by a gang of thugs.
The 21-year-old victim was recovering from the savage attack last night.
But he has refused to make an official complaint to gardai about the incident.
Officers have recovered a hammer and a metal bar, which they believe was used in the attack.
The man was set upon by the gang in Eyre Street in Newbridge, Co Kildare, around 12.40am on Monday.
He was dragged into a laneway, where he was struck several times with the hammer and bar and sustained injuries to his head, jaw and leg.
A portion of his ear was also severed by the thugs during the incident and the victim told gardai at the scene and subsequently in hospital that he was forced to eat it.
Gardai were alerted and the injured man was taken by ambulance to Naas Hospital before being transferred to St James's in Dublin for further treatment.
He discharged himself from St James's later in the afternoon.
He told gardai that he had no fixed address and is believed to have been moving around the Newbridge area.
A crime scene examination was carried out by local officers and the two weapons found nearby are now being forensically tested at Garda Headquarters for clues to the identity of the attackers.
Gardai said their inquiries were being restricted by the decision of the victim not to co-operate with their investigation.
Making an appeal for witnesses on local radio station Kfm yesterday, Garda John Joe O'Connell said: "Part of this man's ear was cut off and he was actually forced to eat it."
Officers said last night they were not yet following any definite line of inquiry and were anxious that anybody with information contact the investigation headquarters at Newbridge station, tel 045 431212, or on the confidential telephone line, 1800 666111.