Friday 24 November 2017

Brave Sean meets soccer hero Rio

Sean Scully with footballer Rio Ferdinand
Sean Scully with footballer Rio Ferdinand

Alan O’Keeffe

Sean Scully met one of his heroes when footballer Rio Ferdinand paid a visit to Our Lady’s Hospital.

Former Manchester United player Rio took time out of his new team QPR’s pre-season tour to meet sick children in Crumlin, Dublin.

Sean (6) was left with no feeling from the chest down after he was shot in the neck in Cherry Orchard on June 13.

The Ballyfermot native was pictured with the retired England player along with his parents Gillian and Carl Scully during the weekend visit. Rio also took time to pose with Sarah Kelly (11), Lily Walsh (9) and staff at Our Lady’s Hospital.

Last week, Supt Brendan Connolly made a public plea for people to defy threats made to keep quiet about the gunmen.

“It’s not being a rat to protect your family,” the senior garda said.

Superintendent Connolly urged residents to “break the wall of silence” that often hampers garda investigations.

He was speaking at a recent Joint Policing Meeting in Ballyfermot and said the time was now for local people to help gardai tackle thugs who were “running things and telling people what to say.”

Local priest Fr Gerry O’Connor said that a community can bring moral pressure to bear on the culprits.

“I encourage people to share information appropriately,” he said. “If everybody could only take their courage in their hands.”

The shooting old has caused “utter exasperation” in the area, and had left a scar in the community, he said. Fr O’Connor said the Scully family’s whole life “revolves around” caring for Sean. “Everybody’s hoping that Sean will get well,” he said.

Sean will require extensive rehabilitation on his damaged spine.

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