A Co Kerry priest has undergone surgery at Kerry General Hospital following an attack during an attempted robbery last night.

68-year-old Fr Michael O'Leary received serious wounds to his head and hands when he was attacked by what gardaí believe was a baseball bat with a blade attached to it.

The incident occurred at his home in Ballymacelligott, near Tralee.

Speaking on RTÉ Radio's News At One, local councillor Pat McCarthy (FG), who is a neighbour and friend of Fr O'Leary, said the priest lost a lot of blood following the attack.

A spokesman for the Bishop of Kerry, William Murphy, said the Church was outraged by the attack on a priest going about his work.

Fr Gearoid Godley said they all wished Fr O'Leary well and that he is in their prayers.

He added their thoughts are also with the parishioners in Ballymacelligott who are in shock following last night's attack.

Fr O'Leary was returning from the annual bazaar in the local community centre at around 9pm when he was set upon as he got out of his car.

The priest managed to alert a neighbour who raised the alarm.