Gardaí investigating assault on elderly man in Macroom

Gardaí are investigating a vicious assault on a 73-year-old man who was beaten around the head and body and left with a punctured lung when attacked in a van in which he was sleeping.

The attack happened in Macroom town centre in the early hours of yesterday morning.

The elderly man had been living in a white van for a number of years and it was parked in a public car park at Sleaveen East.

The area is close to Fitzgerald's Funeral Home and the Dunnes Stores outlet.

It is believed he chose the location because it was well-lit and he felt safe there.

One local said the incident has shocked the community: "He's the kind of man who'd do no harm to anybody. He kept himself to himself."

It is believed the pensioner was attacked by an intruder shortly after midnight.

Gardaí were alerted by a passerby and were quickly on the scene.

A short time later they arrested a man in his 30s close to the scene.

In the meantime, an ambulance rushed the injured pensioner to Cork University Hospital.

He was described as being in a serious but stable condition.

Gardaí cordoned off the scene for several hours for forensic examination and also carried out house-to-house inquiries in the general area.

The man who was arrested, is understood to be a local, and was taken to Bandon Garda Station for questioning by detectives who were trying to piece together a motive for the attack.

He was detained under the provision of Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act.

This legislation allows gardaí to detain him for up to 24 hours before they either charge or release him.

Gardaí are also looking at CCTV footage taken in the area as part of their investigation.

They are appealing for anybody who was in the area at the time and who may have seen or heard anything to contact them.

Anybody with information is asked to contact Macroom Garda Station on 026-20590, or the Garda Confidential Line at 1800 666 111.

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