A MAN remains in a critical condition today after he was brutally attacked by an assailant armed with a hurley.
Pa Byrnes Junior (34) – a well known criminal – was viciously beaten at Lord Edward Street in Limerick yesterday afternoon.
While garda investigations are at an early stage, it is believed that Byrnes was targeted following his involvement in a shooting incident in Patrickswell, Co Limerick in 2005.
Byrnes was walking in the southside of the city yesterday when the attack occurred just after 3pm.
A car with a number of occupants pulled up near Byrnes and at least one man, believed to be armed with a hurley, proceeded to savagely beat him.
The victim was struck several times around the head and suffered severe wounds.
The culprits escaped from the scene while Byrnes lay wounded on the ground.
He was rushed to the Mid-Western regional hospital following the assault.
CCTV footage is being examined from the area and house-to-house inquiries are being carried out.
In 2005, Byrnes was sentenced to six years in jail after Edward 'Teddy Boy' Harty was shot three times in the chest and neck at Lisheen Park, Patrickswell. Two other men were also injured in the shooting on May 30, 2005.
The incident was planned in a pub in Croagh, Co Limerick, by Byrnes and two other associates, his father Patrick Byrnes Senior and Patrick Higgins (19), beforehand.
The trio returned to Patricks-well that evening where witnesses at the local GAA pitch saw the men change their clothing and put on balaclavas and gloves. The three then drove back towards the home of Harty, and Byrnes was identified as the gunman who opened fire with a Winchester pump-action shotgun.
One theory that gardai are investigating is that yesterday's brutal attack was carried out in retaliation for Byrnes' involvement in the shooting incident in Patrickswell eight years ago.