Just over two weeks after competing in the Tokyo Olympic Games, out Irish Taekwondo athlete Jack Woolley was violently attacked on Friday by a group of men and women in Dublin while enjoying a night out.
The injuries left him needing facial reconstructive surgery, which he underwent over the weekend. He is currently recovering.
In a graphic Instagram post, Woolley shared images of himself bleeding from the attack and being attended to by medics. He wrote, “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.”
Woolley added that he was punched once in the face, but his attacker then admitted to charging the “wrong person” before attacking other civilians minding their own business.
Thankfully, Woolley was “able to phone an ambulance and stay conscious” following the incident and his friends were on hand to help before being hospitalized. He ended the post saying, “Thank you all again for the support and kind messages. I hope for a speedy recovery. It’s been a tough couple of months.”
The 22-year-old athlete from Tallaght has since received surgery on his mouth at St. James Hospital in Dublin. He posted Instagram stories thanking fans for their well-wishes after receiving a flood of supportive messages.
Fellow Olympian, Deidre Duke, was one of the many well-wishers, writing, “That is so awful Jack, I hope you’re okay & make a speedy recovery.”
Woolley became Ireland’s first-ever taekwondo Olympian at Tokyo 2020, but lost to Argentina’s Lucas Guzman.
Politician John Lahart is calling for more police on the streets in the wake of the attack.
“This horrific and unprovoked attack on Jack Woolley is both sickening and deeply concerning, he said in a statement. “It’s hard to believe that barely two weeks ago we were all wishing Jack well as he was Ireland’s first-ever competitor in Taekwondo at an Olympic Games, and now this terrible attack has happened. I am calling on senior garda figures [police officers] to take a serious look at the current levels of garda personnel available to police our streets.”
Authorities are investigating the incident, but no arrests have yet been made.