Tuesday 6 December 2016

Woman who was shot by Adrian Crevan in Garda Golden tragedy regains consciousness but 'long road ahead of her in recovery'

Elaine Keogh

Published 09/12/2015 | 22:07

Siobhan Phillips, who is fighting for her life after shooting
Siobhan Phillips, who is fighting for her life after shooting
Siobhan Phillips (inset, left) and Garda Tony Golden (inset, right) and the scene of the tragedy

The family of Siobhan Phillips has said it is “a miracle” that she survived being shot by her former partner Adrian Crevan Mackin.

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Her mother Bronagh and her aunt Lorraine confirmed that Siobhan (21) has regained consciousness and their heartfelt wish is that she could be well enough to be able to leave hospital before Christmas but know that is unlikely to happen.

In the same attack in Omeath, county Louth last October 11th, Mackin (25) murdered Garda Tony Golden, who was helping Siobhan collect her belongings as she was about to leave Mackin having endured nearly a year of violent physical abuse from him.

Her family has thanked the many people who have offered them support and in turn the family has extended heartfelt sympathy to the family of Garda Golden.

Siobhan’s mum Bronagh said, “I would like to thank the parish priests and the curates in Omeath and Carlingford Parish as well as Bishop Eamon Martin.  The Bishop went to visit Siobhan in hospital and he said mass for her two weeks ago.”

She said, “we would love to see her out of hospital in time for Christmas.  She is loved by all her family and we are looking towards the future now.”

“We think about the family of Garda Golden every day.  His family have been in contact and his brother came to see Siobhan in hospital; that meant so much to us,” her mum added.

Her aunt confirmed Siobhan had surgery to remove a bullet that had lodged in her head after Mackin shot her.

Siobhan has begun to speak to them but it is still “very early days” and they do not know how her brain has been affected.

“She is doing okay but we won’t know the full extent (of how she is) until she really starts talking. At the moment she is not asking questions about anything, she is not curious in any way,” said Lorraine.

Speaking in Omeath, at the home she shares with Siobhan’s grandmother Rosaleen, Lorraine said that doctors told them that after a brain trauma, “the brain just shuts down.  Siobhan doesn’t know what has happened to her at all.”

They believe she has no memory of the events at all and the doctors “told her that she has been in an accident.”

Lorraine said her niece was shot in both arms and said, “She must have had her arms up to protect herself.  She was shot twice in her left arm and it ricocheted off one of her bones and there is some shrapnel embedded in her.”

Siobhan needed surgery to insert pins into both arms and her left arm remains weak.

Lorraine said the bullet to her forehead, “never penetrated her brain. The bullet hit off her skull and as a result of this injury she has lost her right eye.”

After weeks of intensive care in Beaumont Hospital in Dublin, “She is smiling and knows everything you are saying but she is not asking any questions. She does know everybody that comes into her.”

“It is a miracle and that she is not paralysed. She seems to be getting there but it is a long road ahead of her,” Lorraine added.

The people of Omeath have been “fabulous, I couldn’t criticise anyone in anyway. They have been outstandingly good to us. We have had messages from people we don’t even know and letters have been written to Siobhan from people we never heard of.”

“It has been amazing, we have been overwhelmed by the support from the public for Siobhan.”

Siobhan, who had two young children with Macken, loved fashion, clothes and make up and was training to be a hair-dresser in Newry.

They had known each other for 5 years and Lorraine said Siobhan was besotted with him.

Siobhan told her that after Mackin was released on bail last January, after being charged before the Special Criminal Court, that he began to hit her.

Lorraine confirmed that Sunday the 11th of October, the day Siobhan made her first statement of complaint to Garda Tony Golden at Omeath Garda station, was also the first time she heard about the domestic violence in the relationship.

“That (previous) Friday night he had battered her for hours,” but added that until that Sunday she did not know, “he was beating her since January (2015).”

Lorraine said she was one of the family members to accompany Siobhan to Omeath garda station when she made her statement. 

She believes Siobhan was worried about the possible repercussions for her family of her going to gardai.

Lorraine said that after Siobhan made her statement she (Lorraine) headed home to her mother’s house.

A short time later an ambulance passed and helicopters were flying overhead and Lorraine went down to Mullach Alainn, the estate where Siobhan and Mackin lived.

There she discovered her niece was fighting for her life and Mackin had killed Garda Golden before killing himself.

Lorraine believes that Siobhan was trying to leave Mackin for the last year and the beating on the Friday night was the final one she would endure.

“The only person who knows what happened in the house is Siobhan.  The doctors said her memory might come back and then again it might not.”

Lorraine and Bronagh said their one wish for Christmas “is to have Siobhan well enough to leave hospital for Christmas Day but we don’t think it will be this Christmas.”

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