Warning: The following story contains graphic images some viewers might find disturbing
Olympic Games athlete Jack Woolley is recovering in hospital after a random and horrific attack left him requiring facial reconstructive surgery.
The 22-year-old, who represented Ireland in taekwondo at the Olympic Games in Tokyo, was set upon by a group of men during a night out in Dublin.
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Woolley described the attack as completely "random" and "out of the blue" and says as many as 12 men jumped him on a bridge in the Irish capital, just after midnight.
The disgusting incident saw Woolley suffer significant injuries to his face and he was taken to Dublin’s St. James’ Hospital, where he required for facial reconstructive surgery.
Woolley, who was eliminated in his opening fight in the 58kg division in Tokyo, posted on Instagram to thank supporters for their messages and explain what happened.
He also posted an image of himself sitting on the ground with his face and clothes covered in blood.
Jack Woolley shows gruesome injuries from attack
“Thank you to everyone for all the messages to see how I am doing. Last night ... I went for a meal with my friend. Followed by a bar for a couple of drinks. Heading back along the River Liffey a gang of roughy 8-12 men and women in their 20s began violently attacking people along the boardwalk,” Woolley wrote.
“Unfortunately I was victim to these random attacks as I was just walking by before I was punched in the face by one of these group members. Only one punch and followed by ‘my mistake wrong person’ then they continued to run off down the road attacking more civilians minding their own business.
“Luckily I was able to phone an ambulance and stay conscious. My friends helped me throughout all over this and I’m glad to say they both are well and safe. I am lucky this is all that happened as there were a handful of us hospitalised and one I have heard to have died after being stabbed (word of mouth). I’m currently waiting in James’s hospital for mouth surgery.
“Thank you all again for the support and kind messages. I hope for a speedy recovery. It’s been a tough couple of months.”
His mother, Annette, told The Echo that she's relieved the incident wasn't even worse.
“I am just thinking that he is lucky in a way because apparently there was stabbings in separate incidents near the same area last night.”
Irish authorities said a short time after the attack that "no arrests have been made" but "investigations are ongoing.”
The terrifying incident left outraged members of the public praying for Woolley to make a speedy recovery.
These mindless acts of violence on the streets are horrific. What can be done? Irish Olympian Jack Woolley victim of horrific attack in Dublin last night - https://t.co/dpnSw5zSou https://t.co/MLzUg3rlIF
— Shane Beatty (@ShaneBeattyNews) August 14, 2021
Really upsetting to see what has happened to Jack Woolley just weeks after representing his country at the Olympics.
It’s heartbreaking that violence remains so prevalent when young men socialise together.
We still have so much work to do.
— Mark McDonnell (@MarkMcDonnell14) August 14, 2021
no doubt Jack will recover quickly from the injury - the experience & impact of the attack may be another thing - we need to get tougher on attacks like these - I've seen @jackwoolley_tkd being interviewed, he is a fine role model - a great ambassador for his community/country https://t.co/evyNjFrC0j
— Hugh Gillanders (@HughGillanders) August 14, 2021
Reading about the vicious attack on the Olympian Jack Woolley has me heartbroken. Here is a young lad that sacrificed so much to go to the Olympics as Ireland’s first taekwondo athlete. His performance in Japan was something to be proud of
— Niamhers (@niamhhassell) August 14, 2021
Horrendous attack - far too much of this happening in Dublin and about time the authorities took action - more visible proactive policing. We showed we could do it to police covid restrictions - time to police violent behaviour. Wishing @jackwoolley_tkd a speedy recovery https://t.co/hJ1Bz8u4WK
— Sean Ui Conchubhair OLY (@seanui) August 14, 2021
The attack on Jack Woolley is shocking, but makes the point that parts of the city centre have been no-go areas since the lockdowns. The Garda Commissioner & Minister have serious questions to answer https://t.co/M4ETkqNPfV
— Derek Mooney (@dsmooney) August 14, 2021
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