Monday 23 July 2018

'It's been long enough' - Man (28) left brain damaged after unprovoked assault home for first time since 2012

Shane Grogan pictured with his mother at home. Credit: Joe Grogan
Shane Grogan pictured with his mother at home. Credit: Joe Grogan
Shane Grogan was left brain damaged after an unprovoked assault in 2012.

Kyle Ewald

A man who sustained a severe brain injury after a vicious attack returned to his home for the first time since the 2012 assault.

Shane Grogan, now 28, was attacked while walking his girlfriend home in the early hours of the morning in Tuam, Co Galway in August 2012.

Shane’s attacker, a former Shamrock Rovers footballer, hit him over the head with a brick, leaving him in need of round-the-clock care ever since. He is currently living in Greenpark Nursing Home, less than half a mile from his family home.

According to Shane’s father Joe, the decision to bring Shane back home was made in the spur of the moment on Sunday.

Shane Grogan was left brain damaged after an unprovoked assault in 2012.
Shane Grogan was left brain damaged after an unprovoked assault in 2012.

“The weather was so lovely and we were out in town for a walk and we just thought it’s been long enough, Shane hasn’t been home in five and half years, so it just seemed like the right time,” Joe told Independent.ie.

“It was just Shane, his mother and I in the back garden and it was very emotional, but good for everyone to have him home.”

The Grogans live above their family business, which is inaccessible to Shane due to his wheelchair, making it impossible to visit home in the past. His father said while Shane is still unable to live at home full-time, they home to have him home “as often as he can, even if it’s just a couple hours together in the back garden”.

Joe said the Grogans have recently purchased a site only a 10 minute walk away from their current home where they plan to build a house fully-accessible to Shane in the upcoming year.

Shane is featured in a new anti-violence campaign video that aims to reduce the number of assaults carried out by young males.  The ‘Use Your Brain Not Your Fists’ campaign urges young men to think of consequences of assault on themselves and others before becoming involved in one.

Joe and his wife Joan travelled to Co Leitrum to launch the video alongside Joe and Rosie Dolan who lost their son Andrew to an unprovoked assault in Mullingar in 2011.

Joe said: “It’s a powerful video, I’ve only seen it a few times because I find it very difficult to watch, but young people need to realise how serious the effects of an assault can be.

“Not just for those who get hurt either, like Shane and Andrew, but the people who commit the assault as well. You could be a nice guy, just had a bit too much to drink on a night out and get a bit rowdy and hurt someone and it can follow you for the rest of your life.”

Shane’s assailant, former footballer Shane Byrne, admitted to hitting Shane over the head with a brick. Byrne was jailed for two-and-a-half years following his guilty plea to charges of reckless assault causing serious harm to Shane resulting in severe brain injuries.

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