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'I can't even touch my pub victim son'

THE mother of a stricken doorman, shot outside a pub, has been told she can't touch her own son because it could kill him.

Mary McNeil has been unable to place a loving hand on her son because doctors fear it could spark brain activity that could injure him further.

Wayne Barrett (31) remains in a critical condition in Beaumont hospital with bullet fragments lodged in his brain.


He was one of three men who were shot by a lone gunman outside the Players Lounge bar in Fairview on Monday night.

Mary McNeil told RTE's Liveline yesterday that she breaks down every time she goes to visit her desperately ill son.

She also described the moment when she heard that her son had been injured.

"My knees buckled and after that everything is a blank for a while," she added.

"We are not allowed to touch him because they don't want any brain activity.

"The bullet is lodged in his head. It has broken up. If I touch him the brain will register that. You can't touch him, you can't hold his hand."

She went on to describe her son as "a big kid" who never harmed anyone in his life and the massive support she and her family have received from friends and wellwishers.

"He is a big kid. I suppose you could say he is like a big teddy bear. Even the kids love him."

She said that her son frequently "walked and talked people out of that pub, maybe if they were too drunk".

Mary and her family are praying that their loved one recovers and her outlook is still bright.

"It's basically just a waiting game at the moment," she said.

"As for me I'm just hanging in there, but there's always hope."

Austen Purcell (24), an innocent customer caught in the crossfire, is also battling for his life in the Intensive Care Unit after he was shot in the chest.


The third man shot in the shocking shooting Brian Masterson (30) miraculously avoided serious injury after being hit on a number of occasions.

Anyone with information regarding the incident is asked to contact Clontarf Garda Station (01) 6664800 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

No arrests have been made so far in the investigation.