'Children should never be exposed to guns or bombs – it is inhuman'
Published 17/06/2014 | 02:30
A MOTHER has relived the nightmare moment her five-year-old child was horrifically maimed in a pipe bomb explosion.
Two years ago this week PJ Duffy was getting ready for school in Newtownmountkennedy, Co Wicklow when he became an innocent victim of gangland violence.
Two fingers on his left hand were blown off in the blast after he picked up the shiny object which was left in his garden beside his bicycle.
PJ suffered extensive damage to two other fingers and is scheduled to undergo major surgery soon in a bid to repair one of them so that he can use it again.
The boy, who is now seven, was also left with scars across his body and is still profoundly traumatised by his ordeal.
"The shooting of that poor child in Dublin brought it all back to us. Children should never be exposed to criminals with guns or bombs, it is inhuman," Ms Duffy told the Irish Independent.
The incident involving PJ Duffy caused a public outrage but two years later no one has been arrested.
In an exclusive interview with the Irish Independent, the mother of three relived what she described as every parent's worst nightmare.
She explained how June 20, 2012, was to be the first-ever bike day organised for the children at the local national school in Newtownmountkennedy.
"PJ was really excited about it and he got up extra early, getting his bike helmet on and his new shoes.
"I said to him to go out and play on his bike because I wasn't ready.
"He had been gone about 20 minutes when I heard a big, massive bang, the floor and the whole house was shaken."
Outside Ms Duffy saw smoke and PJ's hands were covered in blood.
PJ's younger brother Oisin, who was three at the time of the attack, was so traumatised by what he saw that morning that he lost his speech and had to learn to talk again.
Ms Duffy said she would advise the parents of Sean Scully to "put serious pressure" on the health services to ensure their boy receives counselling as soon as possible after revealing that she only recently secured counselling services for her son.
And she added that she was disappointed with the gardai's handling of the case.
"I am so angry about this and all I want is answers. I know we're never going to get PJ's fingers back but I just want to see justice done – this should never happen to an innocent child.
"The people who did this should be caught. They nearly killed my son and they've taken his childhood."
See the video at Independent.ie