'I'm finally getting there' - innocent gunshot woman speaks for first time since horrific attack
AN innocent young woman who narrowly escaped death after she got caught in a shooting crossfire has regained consciousness and thanked the thousands of people who wished her well.
Ciara Sheehan (21) is now awake and conversing with her family in the intensive care unit of Cork University Hospital (CUH).
Ciara underwent emergency in CUH after being shot as she watched TV in a friend's house at 12.30am last Sunday.
Surgeons had to remove a bullet lodged in her throat and neck.
Gardaí confirmed Ciara was not the intended target of the terrifying attack which saw a handgun fired at near point-blank range through the sitting room window of a family home.
Had the bullet been just 1cm to the side Ciara might have been killed or left paralysed.
Incredibly, it grazed her jugular vein by just 1mm.
But the shop worker and Cork College of Commerce student is now awake in CUH and beginning her recovery.
"I just want to say thank you to everyone for the well wishes and all the nice messages," Ciara said this morning.
"I'm finally getting there day by day."
Ciara admitted that she is still coming to terms with her narrow escape and the gravity of her neck injury.
Her mother, Susan O'Mahony, revealed her daughter admitted to her that, as she was being rushed to CUH early last Sunday morning, Ciara feared she was going to die.
"It hasn't clicked on me yet but I will get there," Ciara said.
"I am feeling a lot better now."
"I am on the road to recovery now so it is onwards and upwards."
Ciara has received a flood of 'get well' messages, Mass cards and floral bouquets from people horrified at how an innocent woman could get caught up in such a near-tragedy.
Her family have maintained a four day vigil by her CUH bedside.
The young woman is able to chat, watch TV and use social media on her phone.
But Ciara is expected to remain in hospital for some time to come as she recovers from her serious neck wound.
Best wishes were also extended to the brave young woman from the Lord Mayor of Cork, Councillor Chris O'Leary, and the Bishop of Cork & Ross, Dr John Buckley.
Both have expressed outrage at the reckless nature of the attack and appealed for calm.
Dr Buckley has also issued an appeal for all illegal handguns to be surrendered.
He warned that Cork, for so long Ireland's safest city, does not want to witness the levels of gun crime that have scarred other cities.