Mother hails ‘miracle’ after son comes out of coma after being shot in head

THE relieved mother of a doorman spoke of the “miracle” of her son coming out of a coma after gunmen had left him for dead after firing a bullet into his head.

Prayers and support from family and friends had kept the relatives of innocent bouncer Wayne Barrett going as they held a bedside vigil beside the injured and unconscious doorman.

Mother Mary McNeill yesterday spoke of how her 31-year-old son had recently come out of a coma a month after being shot in the head while on the door of a pub in Fairview, north Dublin.

Ms McNeill described the night she received news that her son had been shot along with two other innocent bystanders outside the Player’s Lounge premises.

“I just ran [to the hospital]. When I heard where the bullet was I thought sweetheart, Jesus.

“He [the doctor] had said he’d been shot in the head. The bullet was still there and there were a couple of other gunshot wounds to the body.”

Initially, Mr Barrett, even with a bullet in his head, had been very responsive to questions by emergency medical staff at Beaumont Hospital where he was brought after the gun attack. But after he was induced into a coma to stop his injuries deteriorating further, his family held a vigil by his bedside in the intensive care unit.

“Basically we just lived up there most of the time,” added Mr Barrett’s mother.

Garda detectives probing the attack at the north Dublin bar are investigating if the crazed shooting is linked to a long-running turf war between republicans and Dublin criminals.

Gardaí are satisfied Mr Barrett had no connection with any illegal activity.

The shooting took place around 12.30am on the morning of July 26, at the pub on the corner of Fairview Strand and Philipsburgh Avenue.

Mr Barrett was outside the front door of the premises and customers were chatting nearby when the gunman ran across the road.

Dressed in a balaclava and dark clothing, the gunman opened fired before he reached the pub, injuring the three men.

Mr Barrett’s mother yesterday told RTÉ’s Liveline show that the family had kept a diary and taken photographs in hospital while her son was in a coma, in order to help his recovery if he awoke.

She added: “He was never ever alone. Every night that he was there, somebody stayed over from the family.

“I always knew there was hope. After he was there for four days, people said to us it’s a miracle that he’s still here because a lot of people with that kind of injury wouldn’t make it.”

Ms McNeill said her son had not remembered what took place when he was attacked, but was now making a steady recovery.

She added: “His personality’s back. I think he’s still a bit traumatised. He doesn’t think he is, but he is of course.”

Her son was expected to be out of hospital in a month or six weeks, she added.

Gardaí were still investigating the attack, she added: “At the end of the day, they [gardaí] can only tell you so much. They can’t go into too much detail.”


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