THE family of an Irishman who died in Malaysia after being attacked by dogs were last night coming to terms with his death.
Maurice Sullivan, a 50-year-old from Galway, had been travelling in the Asian country with his 29-year-old Polish girlfriend Agnieszka Jablonska when he was savagely attacked on a farm in Teluk Bahang on Penang Island.
It is understood the couple travelled there on Sunday morning to take photographs of durian trees in the farm’s orchard, having met with the farm owner the previous day.
The owner was not present when the couple made their visit at about 10am local time yesterday. Two dogs then attacked the Irishman, causing severe facial injuries.
Mr Sullivan’s girlfriend rushed to get help but it was too late.
According to reports, both the Irishman’s ears were severed and his jaw and chin badly torn by the biting dogs. His body was also badly bitten.
One report suggested Mr Sullivan and his girlfriend had played with the dogs and others on the organic farm when they had visited the previous day.
The farm owner, named as Teoh, said the couple had offered to volunteer on the farm and he said he was surprised his dogs had attacked Mr Sullivan.
“The couple was here [on Saturday], and had gotten well-acquainted with the dogs since they arrived at the farm,” he said.
Southwest district police chief Supt Hatta Mohd Zain said: “The girlfriend was some distance away when suddenly the dogs attacked the victim, one of them in particular was very fierce so he got injured.
“The girlfriend called the villagers in the area for help, so they called the police but by the time they arrived he was not conscious. We are not sure whether he was already dead but he was sent to hospital and pronounced dead.”
Ms Jablonska was quoted as saying she and Mr Sullivan had been together for five years.
“He invited me to join him along for a holiday and we had earlier gone to Grik, Perak and Pahang before arriving at the island,” she said.
The Department of Foreign Affairs said Mr Sullivan’s family were being provided with assistance.
© Irish Examiner Ltd. All rights reserved