A student remains in a critical condition after sustaining serious head injuries in an assault in Cork City Centre this morning. Gardaí say that they want to question a number of people in relation to the vicious attack.

The incident happened in a laneway off the Grand Parade in the city centre. The 20-year-old student, who is from Limerick, was unconscious when he was found by Gardaí, who had been called to the scene at around 2am.

It is understood that an incident involving a number of people broke out on South Main Street, continued through Kifts Lane and out onto the Grand Parade, where the attack on the Cork Institute of Technology student occurred.

He was rushed to Cork University Hospital. His family are understood to have travelled from Limerick to be at his bedside. A friend, who was with him at the time of the assault, was also taken to hospital suffering from shock.

Throughout the day, a Garda forensic team carried out technical examinations at the scene, which was cordoned off. A major Garda investigation is now underway and Gardaí, headed up by Superintendent Kieran McGann of Anglesea Street, have appealed for witnesses to the assault.

This is the second serious assault in Cork City Centre within the past three weeks. Christian Scully, aged 28, from Togher in the city remains on a life support system after he was attacked just a few hundred yards from last night's attack.