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House torched as attack victim trapped inside

A MAN was badly beaten at a west Dublin house, which was then set on fire early today.

The attack took place at Cappagh Drive in Finglas in the early hours -- leading to the man being hospitalised and the house badly damaged.

Firefighters managed to pull the man from the house after receiving a call that the property was on fire.

As the fire spread they managed to break into the house and free the man, who was concussed and badly beaten.

He suffered two broken arms and other injuries in an attack.

It is unclear whether the man himself or another member of the public raised the alarm, but Dublin Fire Brigade got to the scene at 5am.

Locals said a man named Tony Prendergast, in his early 40s, and also known as Ollie, had been living at the house on and off all his life and had come back to it in the past few weeks.

Neighbours today told of how they were awoken early this morning before the emergency services arrived.

"I heard sounds like fellas shouting at around 5.30am, it was like they were out on the road," said one woman.

Another neighbour heard banging noises and a smoke alarm going off, and when he went to investigate he saw smoke pouring from the house.

"The ambulance and fire brigade arrived, and I saw Tony being taken away on a stretcher. He didn't seem to be conscious," said the neighbour.

A source told the Herald: "This man was seriously hurt and badly concussed. We suspect that the person or persons who did it may then have set fire to the property in the knowledge that he may not have been able to free himself.

"If this is the case it is obviously a very serious matter."

Gardai will interview the victim today in the an effort to establish a motive for the attack.