Gardaí in Cork city are searching for three men who doused a man with petrol and set him on fire at his home last night.

The 23-year-old father of three remains in a serious condition at Cork University Hospital with life-changing burn injuries.

The three men entered a house at Dunard, a small housing estate in Lotabeg, Mayfield on Cork's northside at around 4am this morning.

The men attacked the victim with iron bars and a machete. They then doused him with petrol and set him alight before fleeing.

Gardaí and two units of the Cork City Fire Service responded to the emergency call made by family members.

The young man was taken by ambulance to CUH, where his condition is said to be serious and his burn injuries are described as life-changing.

Neighbour John Feigerty says Dunard is a close-knit, quiet area and the attack has left everyone in shock.

Two vehicles - a Ford Mondeo car and a Citreon Berlingo van - used by the attackers when they fled the scene have since been recovered by gardaí and are being technically examined.

The house at Dunard remains cordoned off as members of the Garda Technical Bureau continue their forensic and technical examination at the scene.

An incident room has been set up at Mayfield Garda Station to investigate the aggravated burglary.  

Gardaí are appealling for witnesses or anyone with any information about the incident to contact them on 021-4558510.