TWO 16-year old girls were assaulted in a vicious hammer attack in broad daylight in the Joseph Plunkett Tower at Ballymun, Co Dublin, and one of the teenagers sustained serious head injuries.

A 17-year-old boy has been interviewed by gardaí in connection wit the attack, which gardaí described as "horrific". The two 16-year-olds were hospitalised after the assault.

The teenager with the more serious head injuries was transferred from the Mater hospital to Beaumont but has been released from hospital in recent days. There were fears she might have suffered permanent brain injury but she has recovered. However, it is understood she has been left with permanent scarring. The other teenager was kept in hospital overnight.

The incident occurred in Ballymun's remaining original tower block at 6.15pm on 24 September. A teenage girl, who was visiting a friend in the tower block, was attacked from behind as she walked down the stairs. It is understood she was hit more than once and fell onto the concrete.

Another teenage girl, who did not know the other girl, heard screams in the hallway and went to offer assistance. As she ran over to try to help the girl, the attacker also struck her on the head with the hammer before he fled. This girl, who was not as seriously injured, did not live in the tower complex either.

It is understood some witnesses saw the chief suspect moments before the attack. One of the teenage girls was also able to assist gardaí in a small way with identifying him. Gardaí have arrested and questioned the man but he has denied any involvement.

The 17-year-old is not aligned to any criminal gang and gardaí describe him as "a total oddball".