Two Dublin men who are in serious but stable condition in an Australian hospital were protecting a woman when they were attacked by a man with a hammer, it has emerged.

David Greene and David Byas, both from Cabinteely in South Dublin, remain in a critical condition at the Alfred Hospital in Melbourne after the weekend attack.

According to the Evening Herald, the attack occurred shortly after 1am on Sunday in the in St Kilda suburb of Melbourne.

A police spokeswoman told the newspaper that both men, who are in their thirties, suffered life-threatening head injuries during an incident which happened in a Lynedoch Avenue property.

It is understood that the two men were protecting a female from an unwanted sexual advance when the attack happened.

The suspect, Luke James Wentholt, 31, was in court at Melbourne Magistrates’ Court on Monday. He was charged with with two counts of intentionally causing serious injury and recklessly causing serious injury.

The Herald Sun reports he has been remanded in custody and will next appear in court on October 8.

The parents of both men flew out from Dublin on Sunday to be at their bedsides.

A friend of David Greene’s said he had left Ireland in 2010 as he could not find work.
"Everyone is devastated by what happened. He is so popular and so kind," the friend told the Evening Herald.

The Department of Foreign Affairs is providing consular assistance to the victims’ families in Canberra.

Forensics officers examine the scene after a brutal hammer attack on two Irish menGoogle Images