Tuesday 25 October 2016

Grandad Michael 'lucky to be alive' after savage attack

Injured Michael Browne with his dog Patch. Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
Injured Michael Browne with his dog Patch. Jobstown, Tallaght, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

A Dublin grandad is considered lucky to be alive after he was knocked unconscious in a vicious, unprovoked attack in broad daylight.

Michael Browne (67), from Tallaght, who has suffered three heart attacks, was punched to the ground by a thug while he was out cycling with his dog, Patch, in Cheeverstown Road on Thursday.

The incident happened at around 2.30pm when Mr Browne said he was "knocked clean out" in the single-punch attack.

As well as losing consciousness, he also suffered a suspected shattered eye socket and broken jaw as well as cuts to his arms and legs.

He also needed stitches in his hand after it got caught in the chain of his bike when he fell to the ground.

Mr Browne spoke last night of the sickening attack that took place only five minutes from his home.

"I always go up the same way to Citywest because it's nice and peaceful for the dog. That's our daily routine," he said.

"I was cycling along on the path when I turned the corner and could see this guy approach me. Then out of the blue, I just remember 'bang'. I didn't say anything to him."

Mr Browne said the attack was "like getting hit in the face with a bar", and added that he doesn't remember any more after falling to the ground.

A passer-by witnessed the attack and was able to raise the alarm, while a nurse and doctor also arrived on the scene to care for Mr Browne, who has run more than 30 marathons and remains active.

His dog, which he described as "his best friend", remained at his side throughout the entire ordeal.

"She was licking the blood off my face. She was crying when they put me in the ambulance," he said.

Mr Browne's family said they were unhappy with the ambulance response time. However, an HSE spokesperson said the ambulance was at the scene 24 minutes after the initial call and took him to Tallaght Hospital.

He was discharged later that evening and attended St James' Hospital for further tests.

"They have to wait for the swelling to go down before they can see the full damage around the eye," said Mr Browne.


His daughter, Sharon Phelan, said he was lucky to be alive.

"It's disgraceful. I don't know how someone could do that to an old man. He has suffered three heart attacks. It could have killed him," she said.

The widowed former council worker said he can picture his attacker's face clearly and has given a detailed description to gardai.

He is described as black with curly black hair and wore a blue top and grey tracksuit.

It is understood he got on a Luas after the attack and was captured on CCTV.

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