Police are investigating a violent assault that took play on Aston Quay in the center of Dublin on St. Patrick’s Day. The attack was captured on video by a bystander and posted on Facebook.

The victim has since been identified as a Brazilian student living in Dublin, though his name has not yet been released. Gardai said this morning believe him to have been innocent in the confrontation.

The video shows the young man lying on the street being attacked while bystanders look on and scream in shock. One of the attackers kicks the man while he’s on the ground, apparently knocking him unconscious. Horrifically, the kick was so strong that its impact can be heard on the video.

One of the attackers is heard yelling racial slurs at the man as the gang flees. The man was taken by paramedics to St. James' Hospital. He was discharged last night and is recovering.

The video, taken at 3pm on Monday, was posted online by Tuesday evening and soon went viral with a nationwide appeal to find the attackers.

The young boys, believed to be no more than 15, took to Facebook to defend their actions.

Facebook users fumed having seen the violent attack. One said, “Absolutely disgusting! Made my stomach turn looking at this!

“Hard man attacking a defenceless man like that.

“On a day where we’re all proud to be Irish and celebrating our culture & heritage and some little s**t degrades our nation with his vicious behavior.”

Another added, “I am horrified to think another human being could do this. Total and utter filth.”

A police spokesman confirmed detectives are investigating and “following a definite line of inquiry.”

The police confirmed on Twitter that the two young men involved had been identified, but said that speculation online wouldn’t help the investigation.

WARNING – this video displays graphic violence: