herald

Thursday 31 July 2014

Big-hearted family hand signed jersey to crime victim JP

A GENEROUS family have donated their prized Irish rugby jersey to a seriously ill child who had his souvenir jerseys stolen when his home was burgled.

The Scotts from Portrane, in Dublin, won an Ireland rugby jersey, signed by the players who competed in the Rugby World Cup in 2011.

But they have decided to hand it over to young JP Byrne after reading about his plight in the Herald.

Rugby fanatic JP (7) had been collecting jerseys for several years from the Ireland and Leinster teams.

JP, a quadriplegic cerebral palsy patient, was taken on a Make A Wish trip to Disneyland Paris along with his family a few weeks ago.



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The Byrne family live in Tullow, Co Carlow, and booked in to stay overnight in an airport hotel in Dublin to make the early-morning flight.

But while they were away, thieves broke into their home and stole several items -- including the cherished jerseys.

"Rugby is his life -- he just loves it. He's devastated, but no matter what, he gives us a big smile," JP's dad Brendan said.

Although the original jerseys have not yet turned up, one big hearted family has come forward.

Carol and Frank Scott said that they wanted to do something good with the rugby jersey.

"We watch rugby but we didn't really know what to do with it," Carol said.

"We just saw the piece in the Herald and we felt so sorry for him, the jersey is just sitting there. I kept thinking about it all weekend."

Their three children John, Aaron, Ciara also agreed to give away the jersey to someone who will truly appreciate it.

Brendan said that they were bowled over by the generosity of the family.

"He will be absolutely thrilled," an emotional Brendan said.

"He was delighted to see his picture in the paper and this will make his year."

The most precious possession to be stolen was an Ireland Grand Slam jersey and a personalised Jamie Heaslip No 8 jersey from the 2008/9 season.

"Jamie autographed 'To JP from Jamie'. It was a memorable jersey to have as it was same season Leinster won the Heineken Cup," Brendan said.

Leinster Rugby told the Herald that that they will track down a new jersey for JP as he is well known to all of the Leinster players and attends regularly.

clairemurphy@herald.ie

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