A vicious thug BIT off part of a man’s ear before running off with the body part and throwing it down a lane almost a kilometre away.
Victim Mark Burke, in his early 40s, is lucky to be alive after being beaten, bitten and stabbed following an all-night house party at his flat in Whitefriar Gardens in Dublin city centre on Wednesday morning.
One of the crazed thugs who attacked him bit off part of his ear and ran off with it, eventually ditching it near a hostel some 700 metres away.
Dublin Live reports sources said the organ was so crudely hacked that it had to have been chomped off rather than cut with a knife.
And despite now being useless, the piece of ear has been bagged and will be returned to Burke when he leaves hospital.
Gardai recovered the badly tattered body part near popular tourist draw Christchurch Cathedral on Wednesday morning and brought it to St James’s Hospital, where they inquired if anyone had been admitted with an ear injury.
It was another 15 minutes before Burke was brought in by ambulance after being found slumped in the hallway of his flat by neighbours.
Burke miraculously managed to escape serious injury despite being stabbed – with the knife barely missing his liver – but the severed piece of ear is beyond saving.
The hospital has held onto the now useless body-part for safe-keeping and will hand it back to him as personal property when he gets discharged.
Gardai are still investigating the incident and have yet to make any arrests. Officers spent yesterday conducting door-to-door inquires at the south inner-city flats complex.
Neighbours found Burke slumped in the hallway outside his front door and sprang into action to save him.
Two women stood over him keeping him awake before the ambulance arrived.
Mark’s sister later went back to thank the residents, saying their quick actions could well have "saved his life".
One neighbour told Dublin Live that she popped her head outside the door in the morning and saw all the commotion.
She said: "Two women ran over and were helping him, talking to him, and making sure he didn’t go asleep. He was bad.
"He was just outside his door in bits, blood all over him, it was terrifying.
"I don’t know him too well, he’d keep to his own, but his sister was thanking us all for helping saying he would have died if they didn’t see him."
A Garda spokesperson told Dublin Live that Burke is in a stable condition and that a technical examination was conducted.
They said: "Gardai in Kevin Street are investigating an assault that occurred at a house in Whitefriar Gardens, Dublin 8.
"A male in his 40s was discovered with stab injuries at approximately 9.50am (on Wednesday) following an altercation and taken to St James’s Hospital, where he is described as being in a stable condition.
“A piece of the injured male’s ear was severed during the incident and found nearby.”