GARDAI fear that a 30-year-old man who was severely beaten and then kidnapped in Dublin may have been murdered.
The victim, named as Ciaran Noonan was chased and assaulted in broad daylight by a number of men on Russell Avenue in East Wall at 4.45pm yesterday.
He was given a severe beating before being bundled into a dark-coloured Volkswagen Golf.
Noonan, of Rusheeny Court, Mulhuddart, was visiting his cousin Mark Mooney when the horror unfolded last night.
His aunt, Marie Mooney, who owns the house he had just left before the abduction, today told the Herald she didn't know what had happened.
Visibly distressed, she said: "I hope they find him. His poor mother and father. It's terrible"
Mrs Mooney said the victim used to call to her house on rare occasions, but she thought it had been months since he was there.
"I wasn't here at the time. He told Mark he was going home, and Mark said he was going out anyway to walk the dog, so they went out together," she explained.
Eye witnesses have told gardai that the abduction took place outside number 22 and 23 Russell Avenue, after the victim and his cousin left the Mooneys' house, number 36.
"When the car pulled up beside them, the lad ran into the garden of number 23 and tried to hide, but then his attackers ran in after him and he jumped the small wall into number 22.
"The attackers chased after him and started to beat him up in the garden of 22 before they dragged him out the driveway and into the car. One of his shoes or runners was left behind as he was pulled along the road," one neighbour said.
A car that got bloodstained in the scuffle that was in the driveway of 22 was taken away by gardai for examination.
"Some kids over in the playground apparently saw what happened, and thought the attackers were a bit older than their victim, it's terrible, it must have been very frightening for the lad," said the local source.
"It certainly doesn't look good for him," he added.
Another local said: "We heard that the lad was walking around by the playground and that a car came towards them and the lad said he was 'dead' before he was bundled into the car."
Gardai have interviewed Mark Mooney, to try and establish who the attackers might be. They are also studying CCTV from a camera on Mooney's house.
Neighbours say that gardai have conducted house to house enquiries, and that a lot of resources seem to have been thrown at the case.
Noonan is not well known to gardai but has convictions for burglary, drink driving and theft.