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IRISHMAN'S NOSE AND FINGERS HACKED OFF IN MACHETE HORROR; Mike bravely fights back against gun-toting thugs.

Byline: MARIE KIERANS

AN Irishman whose nose and fingers were sliced off in a machete attack outside his home in Kenya is lucky to be alive, his brother revealed yesterday.

Mike Minihane also lost part of his jaw and some of his teeth fighting off the guntoting robbers in the brutal assault which took place in the Nairobi suburb of Karen on June 13.

The 45-year-old, a security worker, who has dual Irish-British nationality, was returning home from dinner with his wife Christine and their five-year-old son when he was attacked by the gang of five men wielding machetes and an AK-47.

He underwent eight hours of surgery during which some of his fingers were reattached.

Mike's brother John, who lives in Dublin, said: "It was touch and go for the first few days. He is a fighter, the hospital seem to be impressed with the progress he is making." His mother Helen who lives in Scotland said she was "numb" over the attack.

She added: "He suffered a fractured skull and I believe he lost his nose, part of his jaw and his teeth. He may have to have a metal pin put behind one of his eyes.

"But he can walk and talk and he's quite lucid."

She said she was just thankful that her son escaped with his life, adding: "At least he survived."

Her late husband Timothy, who passed away last year, is originally from West Cork and the family lived in Ireland on and off over the years.

John said Timothy himself worked in Kenya.

He added: "We have a lot of good memories there as children. Mike knows Kenya, it is in his blood."

John said that despite his awful injuries Mike is bearing up very well.

He added: "Mike is a strong character, I have spoken to him on the phone, and he doesn't seem to be letting it get him down.

His wife and son were with him when the men pounced so I suppose that gave him the adrenalin edge. Thankfully they escaped uninjured."

A police inspector described the failed home invasion attack as "particularly brutal".

He added: "Mr Mike Minihane opened the gate for his wife to drive through when the gang approached him at gunpoint and attempted to force him to enter the car where his wife waited.

"Mr Minihane then grabbed the gun and began to fight the men, whereupon they attacked his face and head.

"The wife, hearing the commotion behind the car, sped up to the house to push the panic button and lock her son upstairs."

The gang escaped on foot. It is understood Mike was on a month's leave from his job for a

CAPTION(S):

LOVE With son and tiger cub CAPTION Mike's wife and son were not injured in attack WEAPON Thugs used machetes during assault VICTIM Mike Minihane was the victim of an attack in Kenya
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Publication:The Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jun 26, 2010
Words:485
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