Gardaí suspect a woman beaten unconscious in a ferocious assault in Carlow on Sunday morning was attacked by a stranger.
Officers said a full investigation had been set up to catch her assailant, with sources saying they could have been dealing with a homicide case.
The woman, aged in her early 50s, suffered serious injuries and was taken to St Luke’s Hospital in Kilkenny.
It is understood she is in a semi-comatose state and detectives are awaiting permission from doctors to speak to her.
“Her safety and wellbeing are our top priority,” said one Garda source. “We have not had the opportunity to talk to her yet, but will do so as soon as we can.”
The woman was found by a local on Sunday afternoon inside the grounds of the old Pollerton Castle.
However, gardaí say the attack happened hours earlier, between 3am and 5am on Pollerton Road.
Gardaí are looking to speak to anyone, pedestrians or drivers, who were on that road and the nearby streets of St Patrick’s Avenue and Staplestown Road, between 2am and 5am.
“We are asking people who saw anything suspicious, even if they didn’t think so at the time, to come forward,” said a Garda source.
Officers also want any taxi drivers or delivery drivers, or any motorists who have a dash cam, to make contact.
The woman was described as being of slight build, with shoulder-length blonde hair. She was wearing blue jeans, a bright pink top and black flip flops.
It is thought the woman was walking when the attack occurred.
Gardaí said it was a “very serious assault” and suspect a stranger carried it out.
It is thought that the woman may have suffered head and facial injuries in the attack.
Sources said that the incident it could have been a homicide. “It could have been even more serious,” said a source. “There is a thin line between serious injury and a fatality”.
Gardaí are examining CCTV footage and said that they were utilising all their resources and services.
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