Tourist bottled on O’Connell Street just after arriving in Ireland

Dafydd Hughes
Dafydd Hughes

A tourist has told how he was smashed over the head with a broken bottle as he waited to get on a tour bus in Dublin city centre.

Dafydd Hughes (45) had been in the country for less than two hours when a young man threatened to "gouge" his eye out with a bottle.

The father of two suffered a head injury during the unprovoked attack.

"We had only been one hour and 50 minutes in Ireland when it happened. We were standing at a kerb waiting for a tour bus to come along," Mr Hughes said.

"A young man approached me with a bottle and said to me, 'Why are you smiling? You won't be smiling when I gouge your eye out with this bottle.'"

Mr Hughes, who lives in Cheltenham in England, said that he was concerned for the safety of his son Logan (11) and Joe (17) as well as his sister Sian and other relatives who were standing with him among a group of US and Canadian tourists at the bus stop on O'Connell Street.

He told the Irish Independent that the man appeared to be under the influence of alcohol and possibly drugs.

A struggle ensued, during which the assailant and the tourist fell to the ground. The man broke the bottle and lunged at Mr Hughes, inflicting a nasty wound to his head.

"There was blood everywhere. I was bleeding heavily from the wound in my head. My son Joe tried to help me and the man then tried to punch Joe twice," he said.

A security guard from a nearby business intervened and stopped the struggle.

The victim's sister Sian, who she is a medical doctor working in Australia, tended to the wounds inflicted on her brother's head.

"Our family had just been talking about how friendly the Irish people are when this happened," Sian said.

"I had tried to calm the man down but he was asking my brother, 'Do you want to see through just one eye?'"

As Mr Hughes was receiving treatment on the ground, a young woman who had been in the company of the attacker before the incident approached him and claimed that she was six months pregnant and "needed some money".

"I should have gone to hospital for treatment but my sister tended to my wounds," said Mr Hughes. "I was able to go ahead with the bus tour for the sake of my children.

"My sister bought me a new t-shirt and threw away my blood-soaked shirt. She put a bandage on my head later.

"When I got on the bus, all the Americans and Canadian tourists, who were shocked, gave me a big cheer," he said.

Mr Hughes said the attack did not make him change his mind that the Ireland is a very friendly place to visit.

"The gardaí were very helpful and we really appreciate that," he said.

Seven members of the family visited the Guinness Hop Store the next day and they then travelled to Donegal.

Alan O'Keeffe