World 5000-metre champion Eamon Coghlan was badly bitten by a dog when he came to the aid of a woman who was being accosted by youths on Dublin's north side.

The attack happened at the junction of the North Circular Road and Blackhorse Grove, as Coghlan was coming to the end of a 15-mile training run. The athlete also broke a bone in his hand when he tried to beat off the dog. 

Coghlan was taken to the Mater Hospital, where surgeons put two steel pins in the third finger of his left hand.  They decided not to stitch up the bites in his legs because of the risk of infection.

Eamonn Coghlan, who is the world 5000 metre champion, was home on holiday from the United States.  As a result of the attack he had to cancel a road race in the Phoenix Park the following Thursday. 

More seriously, his injuries could have cast a shadow over his planned participation in the United States indoor athletics season, which starts in Tennessee on January 16.

An RTÉ News Report by Kieron Wood broadcast on 28 December 1986.