“I didn’t want to ring you. I didn’t want to upset you. I thought I was going to die.”
Those were the first words spoken by the innocent gunshot victim, Ciara Sheehan, 21, to her mother Susan O’Mahony when she arrived to her hospital bedside in the early hours of Sunday morning.
Detectives stood outside the Cork University Hospital room as Ms O’Mahony and her partner, Alan O’Leary, arrived. Ciara’s father, Joe Sheehan, was also there.
“It did not seem real. You are walking on to the set of a movie. It was bizarre. Seeing her there on the bed. It didn’t seem real,” said Ms O’Mahony.
“There were three or four guards outside her room — special branch and detectives,” said Mr O’Leary.
“You grasp the seriousness of it. One minute we are in bed asleep, the next minute we are out in the hospital with guards.”
Doctors at Cork University Hospital told them the bullet lodged in Ciara’s neck was one millimetre from her main artery.
“She is the luckiest and the unluckiest girl. It is like a miracle,” said Ms O’Mahony.
Ciara was able to tell her family what happened at around 1am on Sunday.
[timgcap= Susan O’Mahony, mother of Ciara Sheehan, inset, who is the innocent victim of a shooting in Cork, and Alan O’Leary, Susan’s partner. Picture: Denis Minihane.jpg[/timgcap]
She was upstairs in her boyfriend’s house chatting to her boyfriend’s sister and they went downstairs at around 1am to the front room.
The blinds were closed on the front window. Ciara stood up. There was a gunshot through the window and she was hit in the neck.
“At the moment she stood up she got shot through the window,” said Ms O’Mahony. “She walked into the kitchen and collapsed in the kitchen.
“She thought she was going to die. She coughed up blood. They were holding her neck on the way to the hospital to stop the blood.”
Ms O’Mahony gave one interview yesterday, to the Irish Examiner.
Her reason for doing so was in the hope that journalists would then respect the family’s need to concentrate on getting Ciara better and not on giving interviews.
“We want people to remember that she is the innocent girl,” said Ms O’Mahony.
“And we just want her home and well, safe and sound.”
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