herald

Friday 20 July 2018

Tourists held as doctor fighting for life after Temple Bar assault

A doctor is clinging to life today after being brutally assaulted in Temple Bar.

The 26-year-old medic received serious head injuries in the incident and remains critical at Beaumont hospital, where he also works.

The doctor suffered multiple fractures to his skull when he was attacked at Temple Lane South, Temple Bar, at 12.45am on Sunday.

The victim is a French national who comes from the city of Montpellier.

Gardai believe the row stemmed after a bizarre argument with his alleged attackers -- two French Canadians -- about the use of language.

The men, who have since been arrested, were later observed going into at least three pubs in the Temple Bar area.

One of the men is also believed to have changed his clothes after the attack.

The badly injured man's father travelled from France this morning to be at his son's bedside. He works as a locum doctor at Beaumont Hospital and is also studying at the Royal College of Surgeons.

Sources say it is "touch and go" if the doctor will survive.

"His head injuries are very severe -- the odds of him surviving are slim enough at this point," said a source.

Hostel

Gardai arrested two men -- aged in their early 20s -- over the assault and they were being held today at Pearse Street Garda Station.

The men are French Canadians from the Quebec province who were travelling around Europe and were staying in a hostel in the Temple Bar area.

The two men were due to fly to Amsterdam yesterday morning but were arrested by gardai in dawn raids.

Sources say the assault happened when a bizarre row started over how the alleged culprits spoke French.

"The two men claim the victim approached them looking for a cigarette and an argument started when he slagged them about their accents and how they pronounced French," said a source.

Detectives are trying to establish if the victim may have been kicked on the ground by the men who claim that he banged his head after being pushed over.

The two men were caught on CCTV running away from the scene and were later observed going into at least three pubs in the Temple Bar area.

One of the men changed his clothes after the attack, which happened outside the hostel they were staying in.

After the incident, the victim was able to walk into an ambulance which brought him to St James's Hospital.

When he was assessed there, medics realised the full nature of his injuries and he was transferred to the Beaumont.

Gardai are appealing for information and in particular they would like to talk to a woman who came to the victim's assistance and put the doctor in the recovery position.

This woman -- who spoke with a Dublin accent -- left the scene as soon as the ambulance arrived. Anyone with any information is asked to contact Pearse Street Garda Station at 01-6669000 or the Garda confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

Bled

Meanwhile in a separate incident, a garda sergeant who was recently transferred from Dublin to Letterkenny, Co Donegal, almost bled to death when he was stabbed outside Voodoo nightclub in the town.

Sgt Aidan Doherty suffered a severed artery and three other people were stabbed in the same incident in the early hours of yesterday morning. A 46-year-old man was later arrested.

hnews@herald.ie

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