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Wednesday 7 December 2016

'Sean won't sleep on his own anymore' - Mum of boy (9) left paralysed after shooting says son is living in fear

Ian Begley

Published 24/10/2016 | 12:28

Sean Scully
Sean Scully

A mum whose nine-year-old boy was shot and paralysed three years ago says her son continues to live in fear.

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Sean Scully was playing with friends near his home in Croftwood Gardens, Ballyfermot, Dublin in June 2014 when a row broke out between a number of men living in the area.

The men left the scene, but returned with a handgun and fired at the intended target.

One bullet pierced through the boy’s body above his collar bone and ruptured the nerves in his neck, causing permanent damage to his spinal cord.

Sean was left permanently paralysed after the incident.

His mother Gillian told Independent.ie that she has been sleeping downstairs with Sean since the incident and says he regularly gets very frightened.

Sean Scully
Sean Scully

“He is generally in good form, but gets very down at times.

"Sean is only nine and because of what happened he won't sleep on his own anymore. I have to sleep on the sofa beside him every night because he gets very frightened living here.

“We don’t want to extend our house and put in a new bedroom because we don’t want to stay here.

"We want to have a proper home and are trying to get the government to rehouse us because of the antisocial behaviour here.

“Sometimes he gets so frightened and cannot go to sleep. He realises he’s restricted and cannot run away from anything like he used to before.

“We had a meeting with the Minister for Justice recently where we tried to express our case, but there has been no result.

“We want to get out of here, but I wouldn’t want to remove Sean from his school because they’re just brilliant to him,” she added.

Sports Officer with Dublin City Council and family friend of the Scully family Derek Ahern told Independent.ie that Sean’s struggle continues every day.

“Sean is always in really good spirits and is such a great young man, but not a lot is being done for him in terms of his rehabilitation,” he said.

“It seems like the tragic event that took place three years ago is fading from the government’s minds. The fact is that Sean is still here, but his struggle continues.

“His life, along with his family’s lives have totally turned upside down. They are still fighting this every day.

“People in power need to step up to the plate and do more for him.  If he was coming from another area would his circumstances be different? I think so. I just want to see him get a fair deal,” he said.

On Thursday, over €3,000 was raised for Sean in a football tournament held in the Ballyfermot Leisure Centre.

It was the tenth anniversary of the Ian Lyons Memorial 5-a-side tournament, which is held every year in memory of the 19-year-old man who was also Sean’s uncle.

The tournament was organised by Dublin City Council's Sport and Wellbeing department in partnership with the FAI.

Mr Ahern added: “I’m not a politician but I can at least try and use sport as a tool to raise awareness for Sean.

“Ian Lyons was a young lad from Cherry Orchard who was taken before his time.

"I used to work with him through football and his family were always very respected members of the community. We just felt like it was fitting to do something in his memory.

“Our aim is to send out a message to other young people in the community to stay on the right path in life,” he said.

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