A DETECTIVE garda was rushed to hospital after being beaten around the head when he approached a suspicious scene in Kimmage last night.
The detective was attacked at the edge of Ravensdale Park and later found by colleagues in a confused and distressed state with head injuries.
He was on his own when it is believed he saw some suspicious activity in the green area at around 8pm.
He then drove up to a person or a group of people and identified himself as a detective.
But he was assaulted in his car and beaten before his attacker fled the scene.
The detective, who is in his late 30s or early 40s, is based at Sundrive Road garda station, was not armed at the time.
"At around 8.30pm there was a swarm of garda cars all over the area in front of the builder's providers beside Ravensdale Park," one witness told the Herald.
"Then an ambulance arrived and they took a man out of the driver's seat of an unmarked garda car."
"They took him out very gently and took him away," they added.
The park was then sealed off by gardai moments later and an area remained closed off this morning.
"It is not believed the man's injuries are too serious but it is thought he suffered concussion in the attack," a source said.
"He was confused afterwards which would be consistent with the injuries he received."
Early indications are that there were two possible scenarios after the attack.
Either the detective used his radio to request assistance, or when he could not be contacted by colleagues they went looking for him and found him in the car.
Residents of the Ravensdale Park area in south Dublin said the green area adjoining the Kimmage Road was sealed off at around 11pm last night.
They said that seven unmarked garda cars, five squad cars, as well as fire brigade and ambulance personnel were at the scene.
Medical crews could be seen putting somebody onto a stretcher as gardai with torches illuminated the scene with torches.
The victim was then taken to St James's Hospital by ambulance.
The park remained sealed-off this morning pending a forensic examination by members of the garda technical bureau.
The River Poddle flows through the green area, which is also lined with a number of trees.
Gardai at Sundrive station are investigating the incident and appealing for any witnesses to come forward.