A man sustained around sixty stitches to his face after he was stabbed during a dispute between two families on Christmas Day, gardai said.
The serious assault occurred in the town of Rathkeale, Co Limerick, around 8.30pm, on December 25, gardai confirmed today.
Detectives investigating the attack are believed to be following a definite line of enquiry.
“Gardai are investigating an alleged assault that occurred in the Fairhill area of Rathkeale on the 25th of December 2018 at approximately 8.30pm,” stated a Garda spokesman.
“A male (20s) received stab wounds to his face with a bottle and was taken to University Hospital Limerick for treatment.”
“No arrests have been made and investigations are on going,” they added.
Garda sources said the incident was linked to “tensions between two local families”.
“It’s a local family dispute.”
“An incident happened on the street and a man received a significant number of stitches to his facial area.”
“There we’re close to 60 stitches. He certainly did receive serious (facial) injuries.”
“Initially there hadn’t been a complaint, but (the injured party) has now made a complaint to gardai, and we are satisfied that we have identified a suspect.”
It’s understood the suspect is not currently residing in the local area and Gardaí are looking to speak to him.
A major policing plan was put into place in the town for the Christmas period involving armed garda patrols, the garda divisional drug unit, and divisional traffic unit.
The Health Service Executive (HSE) provided a “triage clinic” in the town from December 20 to January 4.
Speed ramps were also erected by Limerick City and County Council.
Speeding by young people driving “high-powered cars” has traditionally been a problem in recent years, gardai informed a local joint policing committee meeting in the town last November.
The policing plan was implemented as a precautionary measure in response to concerns by the local community about large increases in the Traveller community population traditionally occurring in the Rathkeale over the Christmas and New Year period.
Sources said, despite the stabbing incident on Christmas Day, it was mostly peaceful in the town over the festive period.
A number of minor drug seizures were made involving small amounts of “cocaine”, sources added.
Armed patrols involving the Garda Regional Support Unit (RSU) operated throughout the period, but were not based full-time in the town.
“Armed patrols were present, as were the divisional drug unit and local detective unit over the Christmas period.”
“There were some drug seizures involving ‘simple possession’ for personal use.”
Sources said there were no arrests in relation to the drug seizures, however charges may be brought in the cases pending analysis of the drugs and files sent to the Director of Public Prosecutions.