Corkman critical after Sydney attack

A Corkman seriously injured in an attack in Australia was due to come home on holidays next month.

Jason Cierans had planned to spend a month here and take in a friend’s wedding on his first trip home in three years.

The 29-year-old from Gurranabraher in Cork City was in a critical condition at St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney yesterday after undergoing surgery to relieve pressure on his brain.

The construction worker, who moved to Australia six years ago, received a serious head injury when he was punched and fell to the ground after leaving a pub in the Bondi area of the city at about 1am on Saturday morning local time.

His shocked parents, Declan and Stephanie Cierans, and their younger son, Jamie, flew to Australia on Saturday afternoon and were due to get to the hospital to be at his bedside yesterday evening.

At her Barrack Street home in Cork, his anxious grandmother, Catherine Cierans, said everyone was waiting by the phone for news. “It’s very upsetting — a terrible shock — but please God he’ll be ok. All we can do is hope and pray.”

She said the Cierans’ extended family and neighbours on Mount Nebo Avenue had all rallied round. “Everyone’s praying and waiting,” she said.

A 30-year-old Argentinian arrested at the scene was in court yesterday charged with recklessly causing grievious bodily harm.

Adrian Gabriel Martinez was remanded in custody to appear again on Thursday.

Australian media say the incident happened after Jason had an evening out with friends at the Tea Gardens Hotel at Bondi Junction, a popular venue with sports fans like Jason who watched televised events there.

Reports say there had been a dispute between Jason and another man and when Jason left the pub he was attacked as he crossed the road and hit with one heavy blow that knocked him to the ground where he hit his head.

After emergency surgery he was placed in an induced coma. His condition was described as critical but stable.

Catherine Cierans said Jason, her first grandchild, had settled in well in Australia and was enjoying his life and work there.

“He went at the start of the recession because he was in the construction line and he didn’t want to be out of work. He was never idle since he went there,” she said.

“He’s getting on very well and Declan and Stephanie were out to visit him last year and were delighted to see him doing well.”

Jason is the latest in a growing list of young men to suffer serious injuries in so-called Coward’s Punch or one-punch attacks.

In 2013, Thomas Kearney, 23, from Galway died after a similar attack in Perth and in 2009, 28-year-old Dubliner Gearoid Walsh suffered the same fate in Sydney.

In 2011, Liam Ryan, 29, from Co Laois, was seriously injured in Brisbane and Timothy McCarthy, 40, from Co Kerry was left with permanent injuries after a similar assault in Canberra.


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