BRAVE shooting victim Sean Scully met one of his heroes when footballer Rio Ferdinand paid a visit to Our Lady's Hospital in Crumlin at the weekend.
Former Manchester United player Rio took time out of his new team QPR's pre-season tour to visit the sick children.
Sean (6) was left with no feeling from the chest down after he was shot in the neck in Cherry Orchard on June 13.
Rio also took time to pose with Sarah Keily (11), Lily Walsh (9), Michael Howley (12) 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 those who shot Sean.
"It's not being a rat to protect your family," the senior garda said.
Supt Connolly was speaking a recent Joint Policing Meeting in Ballyfermot and said the time had come for local people to help gardai tackle the thugs who were "running things and telling people what to say".
Local priest Fr Gerry O'Connor told the Herald that a community can bring moral pressure on the culprits.
"I encourage people to share information appropriately," he said. "If everybody could only take their courage in their hands."
The shooting of the six-year-old has caused "utter exasperation" in the area, had left a scar in the community and "a level of tension".
Those involved in the shooting would be known in the West Dublin area, he said.
Fr O'Connor said the Scully family are "utterly consumed" with Sean's treatment and their whole life "revolves around" caring for him.
"Everybody's hoping that Sean will get well," he said.
Sean will require extensive rehabilitation on his damaged spine.