An innocent homeowner rang an ambulance after he was involved in a one-punch confrontation with a man he believed was trying to break into his property.
A well-known criminal in his 40s was fighting for his life last night following the incident at a flat on Seville Place in Dublin's north inner city in the early hours of Wednesday.
Jason Kearney (49), originally from Dundalk, Co Louth, suffered a serious head injury in the incident after the homeowner was woken by a noise outside his home at around 2.50am.
He was rushed to the Mater Hospital where his condition was last night described by gardaí as critical.
A source told the Herald that a local man handed himself in following the incident and has been "totally cooperative".
It is understood the homeowner hit the victim with one punch and he struck his head as he fell, causing a devastating head injury.
"It was completely random and is very tragic," a source said.
"It seems the homeowner, who has never come to the attention of gardaí before, believed the victim was attempting to break into his property.
"This was one punch that had catastrophic consequences.
"The homeowner called the emergency services and ensured that he was brought to hospital."
Gardaí are following a definite line of inquiry and are not looking for anyone else in relation to their investigation.
They are appealing for any witnesses to the incident and for anyone with information to come forward.
Gardaí are also appealing for any road users who were travelling in the area at the time and who may have dash-cam or camera footage to make this available.
Anyone with any information is asked to contact Store Street garda station on 01 666 8000, the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111 or any Garda station.
In 2017, Tallaght District Court heard that Jason Kearney had 30 previous convictions, including one for dangerous driving causing death in a high-profile case in which he was later sued.
In that case, the court heard he was found driving while disqualified after he was involved in a minor traffic accident.
Kearney had had one pint and was over the drink-driving limit.
Judge John Lindsay disqualified him from driving for 15 years and ordered him to complete 240 hours of community service in lieu of three months in prison.
He admitted drink-driving as well as driving without insurance or a licence on the N81 in Tallaght last November 20.
In 2012, he was given a three-year jail sentence for his part in an armed robbery at a local bookmakers, after which gardaí arrested the raiders almost straight away.
He had pleaded guilty at Dundalk Circuit Court to robbery and possession of a firearm with intent to cause injury at Blue Diamond Bookmakers.