Wednesday 18 October 2017

Dancing With the Stars professional Karen heartbroken after grandfather hit by car

Des Cahill and Karen Byrne during the fifth live show of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Des Cahill and Karen Byrne during the fifth live show of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Independent.ie Newsdesk

Independent.ie Newsdesk

Dancing With the Stars professional Karen Byrne has spoken of her heartache as her elderly grandfather fights for his life after being struck by a car.

Karen's granddad Joe Byrne (86) was rushed to hospital after he was struck by a car on his way home from a pub at around midnight on Sunday, in Ballyfermot South Dublin.

Des Cahill and Karen Byrne during the fifth live show of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Kyran O'Brien
Des Cahill and Karen Byrne during the fifth live show of ‘Dancing with the Stars’. Photo: Kyran O'Brien

He is currently under the "fantastic" care of doctors in St James's Hospital but his nephew, Dublin City Councillor Nial Ring, said it is unlikely he will survive the incident but the family are hoping to learn more today.

Mr Byrne suffered extensive injuries in the incident.

Granddaughter Karen told the Irish Daily Star that it was her grandfather who inspired her career in dance.

"I have no words, the pain we are all going through is horrific.

"He is such a kind-hearted gentleman who we all love so much," she said.

"To get to the age of 86 at good health to then be struck by a car after having a few pints is just a living nightmare.

"We are all praying he will pull through this.

"He was who I got my dance moves from, he liked to joke, reminding me every time I seen him it's all down to him that I can dance."

Karen appeared on the RTÉ show partnered with Dessie Cahill.

Mr Ring said his uncle has undergone a "lot of surgery" since the accident.

"He has always been a fit man. He was a butcher all of his life so he is very fit from working in slaughter houses," he added.

"He is very sprightly and goes out walking everyday."

The dad-of-five is from York Street in the inner city originally.

He has "at least ten grandchildren", including Karen, whom he is very close to Mr Ring said.

A number of scans were carried out on Mr Byrne by doctors yesterday and the family are expected to learn more about his prognosis today.

"The care he has received in St James's has really been absolutely fantastic," Mr Ring added.

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