Thugs dragged Brendan Higginbotham into a vacant house, tortured him, severed his ear and forced him to eat it.

The 21-year-old now needs plastic surgery to repair the injuries inflicted on him, but nothing will repair the psychological trauma the young man has experienced.

Higginbotham told the Irish Independent that he was “too traumatized” to describe his attack by thugs in Newbridge, Co Kildare twenty miles from Dublin last Monday.

"I just want to get on with my life. I'm not making a complaint to the gardai," he said.

"I just want to recover and get back to keeping myself busy, I'm glad I'm alive."

Police are investigating the incident and are asking witnesses to come forward. Meanwhile, the men who perpetrated the attack are still walking the streets.

The vicious attack occurred on a vacant property off James Lane in Newbridge. Higginbotham’s arms and legs were bound, a rope was tied around his neck, and he was beaten repeatedly with a lump hammer and iron bars. The men used a knife to slice his ear before forcing him to eat part of it.

Higginbotham, who was initially taken to Naas General Hospital but later transferred to St James's Hospital in Dublin, underwent X-rays and was told he would have to return for plastic surgery on his right ear. In addition to losing half his ear, his legs are cut, bruised and swollen, he has 14 stitches along his cheek, and his head has had to be stapled after it was split open in the attack.

He said he did not know why he was targeted and that he did not know the identities of the perpetrators.

"I don't go around looking for trouble, I just keep to myself," he said.

Higginbotham was due before Kildare District Court on Thursday after being charged with stealing three bottles of vodka from Dunnes Stores on February 5. His case has been adjourned for six weeks to allow him to recover.

He said that before the attack, he was trying to improve his life and was attending the gym to “keep busy.” He said he was off drugs, had been attending an addiction counselor, and was trying to stay away from friends who were a "bad influence" on him.