“Retribution is not the way to deal with the savage attack on a great grandfather,” which has left him battling for his life, members of the public were told at a candle light vigil held for him in Dublin north inner city.
Great grand-father, Paddy Hansard, suffered serious head and spinal injuries in the alleged attack which took place at around 2.30am on Saturday at the Courtney Place flat complex in Ballybough.
He was rushed to the Mater Hospital by emergency services where he remains in a critical but stable condition and in a coma. Friends close to the family confirmed that the 75-year-old suffered two bleeds to his brain which have now stopped.
Medical staff are monitoring his condition and if it deteriorates he will be moved to Beaumont Hospital.
The brutal attack took place at around 2.30am on Saturday at the Courtney Place flat complex in Ballybough, in the north inner city.
Mr Hansard, was a scaffolder in the building trade until his recent retirement and is described by former Lord Mayor and Independent Councillor Christy Burke for the area that, “he is quietest of men and minds his own business. All he asked was for some music to be turned down. No-one deserves to be treated like this.
I would plead with members of the public not to seek retribution for has been done to Paddy. That is not what Paddy nor his family need. What he truly needs is everyone sending good thoughts and prayers their way.
“He and his family need as much support, in whatever way the public and local can. They don’t need or want any more violence in their lives. We all need to pull together to show that savage attacks and brutality will not be tolerated.
“ I spoke with Paul, a member of the family, who said they are so comforted by the out pouring of support and best wishes. June his wife is going through torture. This family are hard working and decent people.”
Neighbour and friend Lorraine Gavin organised the 30 minute vigil for Mr Hansard, who is a relative of Oscar winning singer/songwriter Glen Hansard, which was held at 8.30pm today. Up to 300 people attended the vigil in Courtney Place close where Mr Hansard lives from 8pm.
Ms Gavin backed Cllr Burke’s calls for no retribution for the attack. “I know Paddy all my life. He is such a quiet and respected man. You would always see him going out for his days shopping at 7am.
“We are here to lend our support to June his wife. His condition has not changed. Paddy has lived in Ballybough all his life and is hugely respected.”
Sr Nuala from the Daughters of Charity led the prayers. She added: “ There is a strong faith from locals here. The church is here tonight to support the family and those living here. We are all in shock by what has happened.”
A decade of the Rosary was said followed by a prayer for peace.
Mr Hansard is understood to have been allegedly assaulted by a neighbour wielding a shovel. The elderly man was on his way home from a pub with his partner when the attack took place.
A man in his 50s was arrested on Saturday and was questioned for a time by gardai in Mountjoy.
He was released without charge on Sunday evening and a file is being prepared for the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP).
Cllr Burke added: “Lorraine wanted to show support to Paddy’s partner and his family at this very difficult time. Well done Lorraine on trying to bring the community and Paddy’s family together at this very difficult time
My best wishes go out to Paddy who was attacked at the complex he resides in. I offer my support to Paddy and his very respected family. I’m getting Brother Kevin (Crowley of the Capuchin Day Centre) to have a Mass for Paddy and his loved ones.
The scene of the alleged assault was preserved to allow for a forensic examination by gardaí to be carried out. It is understood that a number of items that may have been used in the attack are now forming part on the ongoing investigation.
Scores of members of the public reacted to Cllr Burke’s comments last night, with one commenting, “Poor man I hope he makes a good recovery. I'll light a candle here in Athlone for him and his family,” while another woman added: “Poor man. Absolutely shocking assault. Wishing him a full recovery and justice.”
Politicians Joe Costello and local Councillor Niall Ring also leant their support at the vigil.
Cllr Ring added: “ I went to school with this family. Paddy is an inoffensive man. He never looked for trouble in his life. We hope that Paddy is one our own for a long, long time to come. Our community stick together.”
Mr Costello said: “ This type of violence has to be stood up to against the Hansard family and the community. It will not be tolerated. We will take a stand against it. Let’s all stand together against this mindless violence.”
Investigating gardaí are appealing for witnesses to contact the incident room at Mountjoy Station. Anyone with information is asked to contact Mountjoy Garda Station on 01-6668601, The Garda Confidential Line 18000 666 111 or any Garda station.