A teenager who was savagely assaulted during a gang attack involving up to 20 youths in a north Dublin suburb had one of his fingers cut off in the shocking incident.
The 18-year-old male victim received a number of stab wounds, including slashes to the face, and gardai described his injuries as "serious and life-changing but not life-threatening".
The Herald has learned that most of his injuries were inflicted to the face, hands and torso.
Gardai recovered a metal pole and other items at the scene of the gang attack, which happened at Thorndale Walk, Artane, at 8.40pm on Thursday.
These are being forensically examined this weekend.
Gardai believe that the attack may have been filmed and distributed on social media.
"Two groups of local youths met up in what seems to have been a planned face-off," a senior source told the Herald last night.
"The indications are they are in some kind of local turf dispute with each other. There can be no doubt that the 18-year-old whose finger was chopped off came out worse than anyone else in this incident but other youths may have been injured as well."
The 18-year-old is an Irish national with a Polish background and required surgery on the horrific injuries to his hands as medics battled to save his finger.
Last night, senior sources said gardai had not established what exactly the "turf dispute" is about but they believe it involved local youths and Thursday night's fight was planned.
No arrests have yet been made in the case which is being probed by Clontarf gardai but arrests are "very likely", say sources.
"This laneway where the incident occurred runs between Thorndale Estate, Artane, and St David's Sports Grounds in the Artane area of Dublin," a garda spokeswoman said.
"It is believed that up to 20 youths from the local surrounding area carried out this attack, all of whom fled in the direction of the Rockfield Park area between 8pm and 9pm on Thursday.
"We appeal to anyone who was in the vicinity with any information about this attack, or persons who may have witnessed or heard any disturbances in this area, to contact gardai.
"We wish to appeal to road users with camera footage, or anyone who may have video footage of the incident from social media sources, to come forward.
"Members of the public are urged to contact Clontarf Garda Station on 01-6664800 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111," the spokeswoman added.
According to data released by the Central Statistics Office last month, assaults were up 9pc nationwide to 13,777, while the more serious "assaults causing harm" were up 6pc to 4,759 between September 2018 and September 2019.