Shock in Macroom over pensioner's brutal assault

Shock in Macroom over pensioner's brutal assault

Christy O’Callaghan: Seriously injured in an assault.

THE town of Macroom is in shock after a well known greyhound trainer was seriously injured in an assault.

Christy O'Callaghan, 73, who is originally from New Street in the town, remains in Cork University Hospital this morning where he is being treated for a number of serious injuries after being attacked in a car park in the town in the early hours of yesterday.

A man was being questioned in Bandon garda station last night. He was arrested shortly after the attack, when the alarm was raised by a passer by.

The injured man suffered head and facial injuries, as well as internal injuries included an injured lung. He was stable in hospital last night.

The incident occurred near his van.

Locals who know Mr O'Callaghan said he has been sleeping in the van for a number of years and was well known around the town.

Gardai are now trying to establish why he was assaulted so viciously on Wednesday night, with sources saying there was no evident motive for the incident.

Chief Superintendent Con Cadogan said gardaí are trying to establish why he was attacked.

Mr O'Callaghan's van has been taken from the scene for a forensic analysis and CCTV footage from the area is being examined.

Mr O'Callaghan had several high profile winners when training greyhounds. These included when a dog he trained, Standard Images, won the prestigious Irish Laurels in 1995. He was the last Cork trainer to win the Laurels until last year. He had previously trained three other winners of the race, in 1975, 1982 and 1983.

In 2005, he was among 30 sports people who received an Evening Echo/Bank of Scotland Cork's Sporting Living Legends award at a gala event in the Rochestown Park Hotel.

The man in custody is also from Macroom and is in his early 30s. He was being questioned under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1984.

The attack has shocked the town of Macroom, following two murders late last year.

In October, popular Macroom man Derry Coakley was killed outside the town while working with a tractor. He was shot. The 58-year-old was a father of a grown up daughter and had been living with his widowed mother on Castle Street in the town. He was a well known machinery contractor. A man has been charged with his murder.

The shooting occured just over two weeks after another murder in Macroom on October 8. Timmy Foley was stabbed to death in an incident at Dan Corkery Place. A woman has been charged with his murder.

Anyone with information about yesterday morning's incident is asked to contact Macroom gardaí on (026) 20590.

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