Irish Olympian Jack Woolley has surgery after assault in Dublin

No arrests made and investigations are ongoing, garda spokesman says

Irish Olympian Jack Woolley, who competed in taekwondo, is out of surgery and is expected to be discharged from hospital on Sunday evening, after he was physically assaulted in Dublin city centre.

Mr Woolley, a 22-year-old from Tallaght, underwent surgery on his upper lip at St James's Hospital.

He was assaulted in Dublin city on Friday night, and was taken to hospital for treatment for injuries to his face.

A picture he posted shortly after the assault showed the taekwondo fighter sitting on the ground, with injuries to his face and a large amount of blood on his shirt and clothes.


In a post on Instagram, the young man said he had been “sucker punched” while out in Dublin city centre. The injury required a number of temporary stitches on his upper lip, and some plastic surgery, he said.

Annette Woolley, his mother, confirmed the Olympian had undergone the surgery on Sunday afternoon, and was expected to be discharged from hospital later that evening.

“He said he was okay, and he’s going to get some sleep... we’re hoping that they’ll let him out today,” she told The Irish Times.

Speaking about her son’s injuries she said it “could have been a lot worse”. The taekwondo fighter’s hopes of a “modelling career” were over, his mother joked.

There had been a huge response from the public, and “people have been lovely”, she said. Neighbours had dropped in chocolates to the home and many people had sent messages of support on social media, she said.

Her son “doesn’t like a fuss”, and was looking forward to getting home, she said.

During the recent Tokyo Olympics, he gave an emotional interview after being knocked out of the games following a disappointing defeat to Argentinean Lucas Guzman.

Mr Woolley had been crossing the road in the city centre when he was punched in the face by an individual who then ran away, his mother said.

Gardaí arrived on the scene shortly after the assault took place and administered first aid while an ambulance was en route.

A garda spokesman confirmed gardaí had attended the scene of an assault in the early hours on Saturday morning on Grattan Bridge in the city centre. “No arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing,” the spokesman said.

Jack Power

Jack Power

Jack Power is a reporter with The Irish Times