A BOY who fell from a roof at his family's farm has woken from a week-long coma.
Thomas Kennedy (12) was in a critical condition and his family had maintained a bedside vigil since the accident.
The GAA enthusiast had gone to inspect work on a new milking parlour being built on the farm.
But the child fell 22ft when he stepped on an unmarked skylight which collapsed underneath him.
Thomas, who last year won the local GAA club's underage player of the year award, accessed the roof by a ladder.
But the skylight he stood on had become discoloured with time and could not be distinguished from the rest of the roof.
"Thank God he's talking now and responding well. We're hopeful he'll make a full recovery," said his father Tom, speaking from the family home at Caherconlish, Co Limerick.
After being rushed to the Mid Western Regional Hospital in Limerick, Thomas was diagnosed as having suffered serious head injuries and was transferred to Beaumont in Dublin.
He spent a week in a coma with his father and mother Dolores at his bedside. In recent days, he has awoken and has been alert and talking.
He has even been able to keep in contact with his school friends at Caherline National School using Skype.
Thomas will be kept in hospital for a while, however, as he also suffered a fractured hip.
His father praised the prompt response of the ambulance crew and staff at both hospitals.
"We had Mass cards coming in the door every day, and calls and text from neighbours and friends.
"People have been brilliant and very supportive. They've been a tower of strength and I want to thank them all," said Mr Kennedy.