Taekwondo star Jack Woolley captured the hearts of the nation at the Tokyo Olympics, but on Friday night he was caught up in a vile attack in Dublin which left him in St. James' Hospital overnight.
Olympian Jack Woolley attacked in Dublin
Woolley posted graphic photos to his Instagram account which showed the aftermath of the attack, which left him bloodied. In the caption to the post he thanked the public for their messages of support, and explained what had happened.
Last night (Friday 13th August) 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 roughly 8-12 men and women in their 20s began violently attacking people along the boardwalk.
Unfortunately I was victim to these random attacks as I was just walking bye 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.
Woolley said that he was currently waiting on surgery to his mouth, which was badly cut by the punch.
Warning: The second photo in this Instagram post is graphic
The Dubliner travelled to the Tokyo 2020 Olympics as part of Team Ireland, and was on the verge of progressing to the second round of the men's -58kg taekwondo before a cruel late loss to Argentina's Lucas Guzman.
Woolley's mother Annette spoke to the Irish Times about the attack, and said:
He was crossing the road and he just got smacked in the face. He keeps saying he’s fine and he’s grand, he got a little bit of sleep which is more than I did. He will be eating an awful lot of ice cream for the next few weeks.
The attack is the latest example of random violence on the streets of Dublin, and Gardai have said that an investigation into the attack is open.
Jack Woolley also saw support flow in from fellow Irish athletes on the comments of his Instagram post documenting the attack, with Olympic gold medalist Kellie Harrington and Paralympic bronze medalist Ellen Keane among those sending wishes on to the young Dubliner.
It's good to see that Woolley hasn't lost his sense of humour from the attack, as he has continued to document his experiences from the hospital with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.
All of Irish sport wishes a speedy recovery to Jack Woolley after the attack in Dublin.