A 30-year-old garda was the victim of a savage assault after investigating a report of domestic abuse at the weekend.
The officer was punched multiple times in the head by a "crazed" man in the early-morning attack which led to him being taken to Tallaght Hospital for treatment.
The incident happened in the early hours of Sunday morning when the garda came across a woman in a distressed state in the seafront area of Bray, Co Wicklow, who claimed she had been attacked by her partner.
The garda was in a patrol car with two male colleagues when they were approached by the distressed woman at 1.30am on Sunday at Strand Road in Bray.
While the gardai spoke to the woman, her agitated partner arrived carrying the woman's handbag.
"He became extremely abusive and when the officer got out of the car, the suspect punched him multiple times in the head," a source said. He suffered head and dental injuries.
"The officer was on the ground in a dangerous headlock before his colleagues were able to pull the suspect off him.
"He was arrested and brought to Bray Garda Station and it is very likely that he will face assault charges in relation to this incident," the source added.
The Herald has learned that the 36-year-old suspect, who is from Glasthule in South Dublin, and was described as "crazed" on the night, was not previously known to gardai.
He was released without charge and a file will now be prepared for the DPP. Last year, the Garda Representative Association (GRA) argued that prison sentences for assaults on gardai were not of sufficient length to deter such violence.
The association proposed alterations to the Non-Fatal Offences Against The Person Act 1997 at its annual conference.
It is seeking a minimum six months' imprisonment for a minor assault on a garda and a minimum sentence of one year's jail for assault causing harm, with at least a five-year sentence for assault causing serious harm.
The group is also calling for a roll-out of non-lethal tasers in order to tackle the issue.
The GRA says there was a 50pc increase in assaults on members of An Garda Siochana between 2012 and 2016.
Meanwhile, gardai have made no arrests in relation to a botched armed robbery at a bookies in the seaside town on Friday morning. A man armed with a firearm entered Ladbrokes at Vevay Road in Bray at 11.10am on Friday and demanded money and threatened staff but escaped with no cash.
Gardai said that they had no description of the raider and Ladbrokes in Bray did not comment when contacted by the Herald.