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French family's shock as attack doc fights for life

THE family of a French doctor who is fighting for his life after a Temple Bar assault say he is a "very kind person and very hard-working".

Guillaume Osterstock's grandmother told the Herald today that he was a "wonderful grandson" who was enjoying life in Ireland.

Speaking from her home near Montpellier in France, Marie Claude Osterstock (84) said the whole family was devastated by his assault.

She said that the young man was very close to her and that he would contact her every night.

"He is a wonderful grandson, even after moving to Ireland, he has always made sure to call me or text me daily. He's like a son to me, we've always had a great relationship," she said.

"He is a very kind person and very hard-working."

She remarked that her grandson didn't smoke and led a very healthy life. Mr Osterstock remains in a critical but stable condition in Beaumont Hospital today as his dad Phillippe holds a bedside vigil.

Sources say that "hope is now growing" that Mr Osterstock will survive. "The next couple of days are crucial -- if he avoids getting an infection, he may survive," said a source.

Ms Osterstock praised the Irish authorities for their help, saying: "We are pleased with the way the Irish police and authorities have dealt with this, they were very efficient and have done everything in their power to help us, even providing my son [Philippe] with an interpreter."

A 23-year-old Canadian student was charged yesterday with seriously assaulting the French doctor in Dublin's Temple Bar over the weekend.

Simon Mercier, who studies in Quebec, has been remanded in custody until tomorrow. He appeared before Dublin District Court charged with assaulting the French medic.

Garda Barry Keegan said Mercier was charged at Pearse Street Garda Station. He made no reply to the charge after caution.

Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin was told that gardai will object if he applies for bail.

She remanded Mercier to appear before Cloverhill District Court tomorrow.