Man (73) assaulted in Dublin last month left with ‘significant brain injury’

Paul Hansard’s family call on anyone with information to contact gardaí


Paddy Hansard, the 73-year-old man who was seriously injured in an attack outside his home in Ballybough in August, has suffered a significant brain injury and faces “a long road to recovery”, his family has said.

Mr Hansard was attacked at around 2.30am on August 17th at the Courtney Place flag complex in Ballybough in Dublin’s north inner city while he was returning from the local pub with his partner. He was taken by ambulance to the Mater Hospital with head injuries, including several bleeds on his brain.

One month on from the attack, Mr Hansard has made little progress in his recovery.

“He hasn’t changed much and we don’t know what the outcome is going to be,” Paul Hansard, Paddy’s brother told The Irish Times. “The doctors are saying he has a significant brain injury and that recovery is going to take a long time. But they’re not giving hopeful signals.”

Mr Hansard, who has five adult children, four brothers and 11 sisters, has been taken out of an induced coma and placed in the Mater Hospital’s high dependency unit. He mumbles when he is awake but his words make no sense, said his brother.

“We’re not sure if he recognises us or not. His eyes might move towards where the sound is coming from but they don’t look focused. His eyes are distant.

“When you go to visit it’s hard because you think you see progress one day but the next day there’s nothing. There’s a long road ahead with rehabilitation and speech therapy. Even the doctors say we can’t make a judgement yet. I don’t think he’ll be the same at the end of this.”

The anger the Hansard family initially felt following the attack has now evolved into frustration, said Paul Hansard. “I’m not angry anymore, I just want justice for Paddy. He’s the nicest person you could meet. I’ve never heard anybody say a bad word about him. He knows people all over the city, he loves company, parties and singing.

“We just find it incredible that it happened to Paddy of all people. He’s the one who brings everyone together. He’s worked since he was 14, he got up early in the morning for work for 50 years and this is how he’s been repaid. We’re frustrated, worried, sad for Paddy and concerned for his future.”

Mr Hansard has urged anyone with information about the attack to contact gardaí. “The only people who can get justice now are the guards and we have full faith in them. We’re saying to people that anybody who has information, no matter how big or small, get in touch.”

A man in his 50s was arrested and questioned followed the attack but was released without charge and a file was prepared for the DPP.

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.