Tom Swarbrick 10pm - 1am
Irish Olympian awaits facial surgery following gruesome assault
15 August 2021, 09:16 | Updated: 15 August 2021, 09:42
Jack Woolley, Ireland's first taekwondo Olympian is awaiting facial surgery after an assault in Dublin city.
Jack Woolley, Ireland's first ever athlete to compete in taekwondo at the Olympics, was the victim of a horrendous assault in Dublin city centre over the weekend.
Speaking via his Instagram accounts, Mr Woolley told his followers that he was given temporary facial stitching and is awaiting plastic surgery on his lip, which was severed in the attack.
"I'll be all right, I don't want people to worry," he reassured his fans, adding that "it looks worse than it is."
The Olympic hero issued a statement from his bed in St James' Hospital, Dublin:
"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 [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."
"Thank you all again for the support and kind messages. I hope for a speedy recovery. It’s been a tough couple of months."
Having been in hospital since Saturday morning, Mr Woolley took to social media to give an update on his situation.
"Surgery moved to tomorrow so overnight stay for me[.] Sending love to everyone who has reached out there are 1000s of messages."
"I hope everyone sees this and realises the world has changed. Not to be scared but just to be careful and be aware of your surroundings at all time[s]."
"The Scorpion" assured his fans once again that his injuries wouldn't hold him back: "I'll be all right once I get out. I'll be out tomorrow."
Jack Woolley's club, South Dublin Taekwondo, issued a statement on the matter:
"Our team mate Jack Woolley is recovering in hospital where he is being treated for injuries he sustained from an unprovoked attack in Dublin on Saturday Morning.
"We wish Jack a speedy recovery and also for any others who were injured at the incident.
"SDTKD is wholeheartedly appalled at the attack and our thoughts are with Jack, his family and friends at this time. Jack will receive the full support and care of everyone at the Club.
"A few hours before the incident Jack was back in training looking sharp and ready as he trained assisting his team mates who prepare for the U21 Europeans. We look forward to him getting back to the team and doing what he does best.
"We understand that the Garda are currently investigating.
"Thank You all for messages of care and concern for Jack. Jack is doing ok, and we kindly request some privacy as Jack, his friends & family recuperate from the incident.