MMA fighter ‘lucky to be alive’ after gang attack

Gardaí are investigating a brutal street assault by a gang armed with iron bars, bottles, and knives which left an amateur MMA fighter fighting for his life.

Paul Healy spoke from his bed in Cork University Hospital (CUH) and said he is lucky to be alive after the vicious assault on the northside of Cork City which left him with a fractured skull and requiring more than 40 stitches to his head and face.

“I’m a nice fella. I help the homeless in Cork, and people like me and respect me. I don’t know who attacked me or why. But they tried to kill me,” he said.

While detectives have spoken to him twice since the assault in the early hours of Sunday, he said he has little memory of the incident following the initial attack.

Mr Healy said he hopes his condition will improve over the coming days to allow him make a formal statement.

“I just want anyone that knows anything to come forward to the guards or locals so that they can be arrested and charged,” he said.

“I am a good young fella and these people who done this need to be stopped. I am lucky to be alive.”

MMA fighter ‘lucky to be alive’ after gang attack

Mr Healy, from Donoughmore, said he spent part of Saturday in Fitzgerald Park, and was with two friends as he walked to the city and on to Blackpool that night to catch a taxi home.

He said he was attacked from behind, and struck on his head as he walked near Orchard Court by a gang of up to five men armed with bottles, iron bars and knives. His two friends fled.

He said he has no recollection of exchanging words with the gang, or of an altercation before the incident.

Mr Healy described it as a random attack and said he can think of no reason why he would be targeted in this way. 

“They came up behind me. I tried to defend myself but they kept smashing my head with bottles. I nearly died,” he told Neil Prendeville on RedFM.

“There was no reason for me to get a beating. It was so serious they almost killed me. It wasn’t just a normal beating. You don’t do that to a human. The back of my head is like a map — I have over 30 staples holding my head together.”

Onlookers came to the aid of the unconscious man and he was rushed by ambulance to CUH where he is being treated for a fractured skull, a fractured jaw, two broken eye sockets, and internal bleeding on the brain. 

He received 30 staples to his head and 11 stitches to his face.

He is undergoing treatment for the bleeds in his brain, and doctors are waiting for the swelling in his jaw and eye sockets to go down before they can determine if he requires surgery.

Gardaí at Mayfield say they are investigating an assault near Orchard Court between 11.45pm on Saturday and 12.15am on Sunday, and are examining CCTV footage as part of their investigation. 

Anyone with information should contact Mayfield Garda Station on 021 4558510.

Paul Healy has since been in touch with us through Facebook to thank the people who were with him at the time.


Lifestyle

Rosscarbery antiques fair offers plenty of variety, writes Des O’Sullivan.See the value of rare notes and diamonds

More From The Irish Examiner