Park attacker tried to bite my finger off, says victim (70)


Peter Hegarty (70), who was attacked in Marlay Park, Rathfarnham, with his partner Maggie

Robin Schiller

A pensioner was left bloodied and bruised after being repeatedly kicked in the head in a city park.

Peter Hegarty (70) was set upon by a middle aged man who had allegedly attacked his partner and their dog.

The incident happened at about 2.30pm on Tuesday in Marlay Park on the southside of the city.

Our pictures show how Mr Hegarty was left with blood running down his face after being repeatedly punched and kicked in the assault.

He explained how he was set upon by a man who he believed had targeted his partner, Maggie, in the past.

"I was walking through Marlay Park with Maggie when she noticed a man who she had a run-in with a few months previously, to put it mildly.

Mr Hegarty explained what had happened before this week's encounter.

"He had an issue with our dog Charlie not being on his leash, even though he was.

"This man then walked over to our poor pet and gave him an almighty kick, which we later found out had broken the dog's sternum," Mr Hegarty told the Herald. "Maggie couldn't believe it, she stood there shocked and then naturally confronted the man. He then slapped my wife and said 'that will teach you'."

The couple made an appeal on social media to track down the man, aged in his late 40s, but to no avail. However, this week while Peter and his partner walked through Marlay Park, Maggie again saw the man who attacked her and their dog.


"She pointed out this man who was casually walking through the park. I asked her was she sure it was him, and she said she was certain.

"I went over to this man and confronted him as to why he had kicked my dog and - what annoyed me more than anything - why he had hit Maggie.

"I was shocked when he blatantly admitted to kicking our dog, but he denied hitting my partner," Mr Hegarty said.

After a brief exchange of words, the man attacked Mr Hegarty, throwing a number of punches to his face.

Shockingly, as the pensioner lay on the ground trying to guard his head, the man kicked him in the face repeatedly, leaving his jaw badly swollen.

"He tried to bite my finger off as well," Peter said. "My partner was trying to pull this crazed man off me. He kept screaming while he was attacking me. There was blood all over my face and I was quite shook."

The man has been described as being 6" in height, with receding grey hair, large front teeth with a gap in between, and a strong Dublin accent.

Gardai in Rathfarnham are investigating the incident and have appealed for witnesses.