Jack Woolley admits he's lucky to be alive after he was randomly assaulted during a night out in Dublin over the weekend.
The Olympian was left covered in blood and now requires facial reconstructive surgery following the disgusting incident, which took place just a week after he returned home from the Tokyo Games.
22-year-old Woolley, who represented Ireland in taekwondo at the Olympics, says he was attacked "out of the blue" by a group of eight to 12 people in Dublin city centre in the early hours of the morning.
The attackers were allegedly harassing other passersby on the street before one of them punched Woolley and said "my mistake wrong person" while fleeing the scene.
Despite the horrific injuries to his face, which included a huge laceration to his upper lip, Woolley admitted he somehow managed to remain conscious and was able to call himself an ambulance.
Once in hospital after receiving medical attention, the Irishman took to social media to provide an update on his condition while thanking his followers for their continued support.
In the post itself, he added pictures of his awful injuries as well as a shot of him at the scene covered head to toe in blood.
"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."
Irish police have now launched a formal investigation into the matter.
"Gardai attended the scene of an assault that occurred on Grattan Bridge, Dublin 1 at approximately 12:40am today, Saturday, 14th August 2021," a spokesperson said.
"One man, aged in his 20s, was conveyed to St James's Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries sustained during the incident.
"No arrests have been made. Investigations are ongoing."
News of the violent attack sparked a response from the public who called for further action to be taken against the aggressors while also sending messages of support to the recovering Woolley.
One person who was most shocked by the events that unfolded was Woolley's mother who said her son was actually 'lucky in a way'.
Woolley's mother, Annette, told The Echo: "He was just standing near the Ha'Penny Bridge around 12.30am with his two friends and some fella just came up and attacked him out of the blue.
"He is trying to tell me he is alright. I am just waiting on a phone call to find out what is happening because he was supposed to get his surgery this morning, but it has been delayed.
"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.
"There was a gang involved, it wasn't just one person. Jack and his friends were just stood there deciding where they were going to go and they heard shouting, and when they turned to look at the shouting that's when Jack was attacked.
"The man hit him repeatedly in the face without giving Jack the chance to react and apparently he said, 'I am so sorry' and ran off afterwards.
"His poor face - he is a good-looking lad and I don't know what way it is going to be after the reconstructive surgery."
Featured Image Credit: Instagram/@jack_woolley_tkd
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