Irishman still unconscious after savage Sydney attack

NEUROLOGICAL tests were being carried out yesterday at a hospital in Australia on a 23-year-old Irishman, amid fears that he may have suffered brain damage during a savage attack by three men.

David Faktor, a spokesman for St Vincent’s Hospital in Sydney, said John Counihan was in a “serious but stable condition”, but not conscious.

Mr Counihan, from Castlecor, Mallow, Co Cork, was attacked last weekend outside the Royal Hotel in Bondi, after an apparent row at a pool table.

The attack shocked his friends who described Mr Counihan as a decent man “who wouldn’t hurt a fly”.

Hotel manager Max Hodges told police that security staff had ushered Mr Counihan and two friends out of the hotel after an “apparently minor dispute” broke out between them and another group of men at about 10.30pm.

“Apparently, one of the Irish guys came back in and asked one of the other men to take it outside,” Mr Hodges said.

Video footage shows three men punching and kicking Mr Counihan to the ground and repeatedly stamping on his head.

Mr Faktor confirmed that Mr Counihan’s sister, Patricia, and his girlfriend Pamela Scannell were keeping a bedside vigil, while another sister is flying out.

He said that he understood Mr Counihan’s parents were elderly and too frail to make the trip from Ireland.

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