One punch from an old enemy leaves man (28) critically ill in hospital
A young man is fighting for his life after he was the victim of a "one-punch attack".
David Kirwan (28) was attacked close to his home in Bray, Co Wicklow, by a man who he had been "childhood enemies" with, according to sources.
The duo had been involved in an earlier altercation at a pub in the seaside town, which local sources said involved "a lot of name calling".
In a tragic twist of fate, the two men met each other again at James Everett Park and the assault occurred there at 1.45am on Sunday.
"It was a one-punch assault and the damage was caused when the victim banged his head off the ground after being hit," a senior source said.
"These two lads had known each other since school days and they simply never got on.
"Mr Kirwan is in a very serious state in Beaumont Hospital," the source added.
The chief suspect in the case handed himself into gardai shortly after the assault and detectives are not looking for anyone else.
The young man is said to be "very upset" and it is understood that he had not intended for the incident to get so out of hand.
The suspect, aged in his 20s, was released without charge on Sunday night.
The victim was walking in the direction of his house on Rowan Grove in the Fassaroe area of Bray with someone known to him in the early hours of Sunday morning, when an argument developed between the two at the park on the outskirts of the town.
Mr Kirwan (28) acts as a carer for his brother, locals said.
"The two of them live locally in a bungalow. They haven't been there that long and are doing it up slowly. Everyone is shocked by this," said one neighbour.
"They keep to themselves mostly. We just see them coming and going," she said.
"It appears that a row broke out and Mr Kirwan was assaulted and injured as a result," said a source.
"The man who attacked him stayed at the scene afterwards and was arrested for questioning."
Locals helped Mr Kirwan until the emergency services arrived and he was rushed to St Vincent's Hospital in Dublin.
But it was later decided to transfer him to Beaumont Hospital, which specialises in head injuries.
His condition there was described as critical.
A large bloodstain was seen on the cobblelock paving at the spot where Mr Kirwan collapsed.
James Everett Park ends in a cul-de-sac at the point where the attack took place, but pedestrians are able to walk through it to a local shop and into the Fassaroe area.