The life of a young man who was brutally stabbed at the weekend was hanging in the balance last night as his family held a bedside vigil.
The victim of the attack, who was named locally as Jamie Hennessy (22), was attacked near a laneway in Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, on Saturday evening.
He was in a critical condition in hospital last night after sustaining injuries to his head, neck and face.
From Doonane in Co Carlow, Mr Hennessy is well known in Castlecomer.
Members of the garda technical bureau yesterday examined the scene and took away several bags of items, which will be forensically examined.
Bloodstains could be seen on a door at the scene in Love Lane, where it is believed Mr Hennessy tried to get help after the attack at about 7pm.
One of the men arrested in relation to the incident had previously been questioned over the fatal stabbing of another man in Kilkenny.
A resident in Love Lane said he was shocked by the attack.
"There's rented accommodation in a building down the lane and it either happened there or outside it," he said.
"When gardai and an ambulance arrived we could see the man lying on the street. It's shocking."
The victim was taken by ambulance to St Luke's Hospital.
Three men, two in their 30s and one in his 40s, were arrested at the scene and were last night being detained under the provisions of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984 at Kilkenny Garda Station.
A garda spokesperson said it was appealing for witnesses who may have been in the Love Lane area of Castlecomer on Saturday between 5pm and 7pm to come forward.
They are asked to contact Kilkenny Garda Station on 056-7775000, the Garda Confidential telephone line on 1800 666 111 or any garda station.