| 5.5°C Dublin

GAA star hit over head with fire extinguisher as he tried to save woman

THIS is the talented GAA player who suffered serious head injuries after being brutally attacked with a fire extinguisher.

Gardai are investigating after Anthony 'BA' Franey was assaulted by two Dublin men as he tried to intervene in a row which saw a woman injured.

The young man was making his way home following a night out in Wicklow town when the shocking incident took place.

The Herald understands that Mr Franey (28) was hit over the head with a fire extinguisher that had been earlier snatched from a nearby pub.

He is believed to have hit his head off a curb before receiving further blows from the men while unconscious.

His injuries were so severe that doctors at St Vincent's Hospital immediately decided to carry out a brain scan.

He is currently recovering from his injuries but has so far been too unwell to give a statement to gardai.


Our picture shows the young man playing football for his local St Pat's GAA Club -- just hours before the assault took place.

Gardai in Wicklow town have launched a major investigation into the incident and have taken statements from a number of witnesses.

It's understood that CCTV footage of the attack is also being examined by gardai.

No arrests have yet been made.

Mr Franey had been out socialising in a local nightclub and was walking through the main street of the town shortly before 3am on Sunday morning.

Gardai believe that he came across an altercation between a number of people, during which a 45-year-old woman suffered facial injuries.

Mr Franey is believed to have intervened in the row before being hit over the head with a fire extinguisher.

A source explained: "This was a vicious attack on a man who was trying to break up a row. It's been viewed as completely unprovoked at this stage and the investigations are progressing well."

The two men suspected of the attack had been out socialising in Wicklow town on Saturday night and are believed to have snatched the fire extinguisher from a local pub.

Mr Franey has undergone a number of operations with his injuries described as "extremely serious".


In a statement to the Herald, a garda spokesman said: "There was an altercation between a number males and females, a 28-year-old male suffered a serious head injury and was unconscious when gardai arrived, a 45-year-old female had a number of facial injuries (broken teeth) both were taken to St Vincent's hospital."

Anyone with information can contact Wicklow Garda station on 0404 60140.