Paddy Hansard assault: ‘his eyes are open, but there is no reaction’

Family believes the 73-year-old was hit from behind with a shovel as he neared his home

Paul Hansard holds up a recent photograph of his brother Paddy, who was seriously injured during an assault in Dublin. Photograph: Maxwells

Paul Hansard holds up a recent photograph of his brother Paddy, who was seriously injured during an assault in Dublin. Photograph: Maxwells

 

Doctors are attempting to remove from a respirator a great grandfather left with serious injuries following an unprovoked attack outside his home last week.

Paddy Hansard (73) suffered serious head injuries and broken bones in his neck in the attack which took place at approximately 2.30am on August 17th at the Courtney Place flat complex in Ballybough, in Dublin’s north inner city.

Mr Hansard, who has five adult children, four brothers and 11 sisters, was taken to the Mater Hospital, where he remains in a critical but stable condition.

A man in his 50s has been arrested and questioned about the incident. He was released without charge and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).

Mr Hansard, who worked with three of his brothers as a scaffolder, suffered three bleeds to his brain.

Speaking on behalf of his family, his brother Paul said “doctors carried out a scan on Paddy over the weekend and the three bleeds are still there.

He said his brother’s doctors were concerned that he was starting to develop infections so they performed a tracheostomy on his neck but he is still on a ventilator.

“They are hoping to transfer him to a smaller machine to encourage Paddy to try to breathe on his own. They are making attempts to wean him off the larger ventilator.

“His eyes are open, but there is no reaction as of yet. There is some movement on Paddy’s left-side so the next few days will tell a lot as to whether he can fully breathe on his own.”

“His condition hasn’t improved or dis-improved. It’s just the same. “Paddy’s health is not going to change for the foreseeable future,” Paul Hansard said.

Mr Hansard said Paddy was the “last person who deserved to end up like this, (fighting for his life) as he, along with the Hansard family are highly-respected, hard working and community people who care for one another.”

He said what happened on the night of the assault is still vague.

Mr Hansard said his brother and his partner left the Clonliffe House pub around 2am. “As they were approaching, (where they live in Courtney Place) he was attacked. June was a little bit behind him as they were walking up the stairs. He was attacked and some person or persons beat him with a shovel.”

He said a number of rumours, including reports that his older brother told a person to keep the noise down in the complex, were “hearsay”.

“As a family we are still very emotional and very angry because it happened to Paddy because he is just a wonderful human being. All of this (the attack and rumours) are hurting us so much. His poor children are heartbroken and they look so lost.

“The family don’t want what’s happened to be sensationalised. None of the Hansard family have spoken to the public about this and won’t again. . . . the rumours we are hearing are ripping us apart and they don’t know what stories true and what isn’t. This is causing so much heart-ache..

“It’s just incredible what happened to Paddy. Our family don’t offend anyone, we don’t cause trouble and we respect people.”

Mr Hansard said the family had faith that gardaí would find and arrest the person or persons responsible and he urged people with information to speak to them, or councillor and former Lord Mayor Christy Burke.

He also thanked those who attended the vigil for his brother last Monday. “There are beautiful people living there. Nobody asked them to hold that vigil they did it out of love for Paddy and for everyone else. Ballybough is a very strong community.”

He said many people had contacted the family looking to assist with the medical costs.

“We are so thankful . . . but at the moment, we would ask the public not to do that. We need to know how Paddy is going to be and maybe we will need to ask for help in the future but we have to wait and see what his prognosis is.”

Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact the incident room at Mountjoy Garda station on 01-6668601, the Garda Confidential Line 18000 666 111 or any Garda station.