Man's head split open with hatchet in family dispute

Dónal Nolan

Medics feared for the life of a man whose head was split open with a hatchet in a vicious brawl outside Listowel on Wednesday.

He was one of five people involved in what was described as a 'pitched battle' between family members at a location outside the North Kerry town at midday on Wednesday last.

The man is now recovering in Kerry University Hospital following treatment in Cork University Hospital during the week in which he had to have a metal plate surgically inserted in his head.

Another male presented to hospital a couple of days later with less severe head injuries which he incurred in the same incident. The Kerryman understands the fight broke out between three brothers and their sister and her partner.

Cars were also damaged in the fracas, which erupted at a home, before spilling out onto the roadway in the rural area. Gardaí investigating the incident have spoken to a number of people but no arrests have been made as of yet.

They described the incident as 'very serious' and appeal for any withnesses to make contact with the investigating team at Listowel Garda Station. "This could have been much worse and we're treating it very seriously," a spokesperson said.