Female attacker put bin liner over woman's head in bid to suffocate her
Gardaí are investigating an attempt to suffocate a woman during an assault in an Irish hospital, it has emerged.
The incident occurred in the Emergency Department of Naas General Hospital in Kildare over the weekend.
The victim, aged in her 60s, had a plastic bag placed over her head during the incident.
Officers from Naas garda station are investigating the alleged assault causing harm which occurred in the early hours of Saturday.
It is understood the woman was waiting in the Emergency Department of the hospital before the unprovoked attack. She was assaulted by another woman, gardaí believe.
During the incident a plastic bin liner was held over the woman's head in an attempt to suffocate her, according to one eye witness.
However, bystanders intervened and managed to restrain the attacker.
An eye witness told the Irish Independent the female suspect had to be restrained by civilians who were in the room at the time.
"A bin liner was placed over this woman's head in an attempt to suffocate her, and could have succeeded if people in the room hadn't intervened.
"A man in the Emergency Department had to wrestle the person off the lady as there were no security in attendance.
"People were threatened by this woman, it was a scary incident to witness in the hospital," the witness said.
Local gardaí were notified of the incident and are understood to have responded to the scene quickly.
"They were on site within minutes of the call out," the witness said.
A spokesman for the HSE confirmed the matter is under investigation by the hospital as well as gardaí.
"We can confirm that an incident occurred at Naas General Hospital on Saturday morning.
"The incident is being dealt with by the hospital and an investigation is under way by An Garda Síochána. We will not be commenting further at this time," a spokesman for the HSE said.
The HSE did not comment on what security measures were in place in the Emergency Department at the time of the incident.
Figures provided by the Irish Nurses and Midwives Organisation (INMO) show there were eight patients waiting on trolleys in the Naas General Hospital Emergency Department over the weekend.
The INMO's trolley watch figures for Friday also show eight people were waiting on trolleys while another three were in wards.
This figure is a major reduction from the 22 people that were waiting on trolleys on April 19 last.
On that day, only the Mater Hospital had more recorded patients waiting on trolleys that day in the eastern region with 26.