herald

Thursday 14 December 2017

Dancer Karen prays for a miracle after grandad hit by car

Crash Victim Joe Byrne
Crash Victim Joe Byrne

The family of a pensioner fighting for his life after being struck by a car say they are "praying for a miracle".

Joe Byrne (86), of Ballyfermot, West Dublin, was left criticially injured on Sunday night.

The father-of-five is grandad to ballroom dancer Karen Byrne, who starred in the RTE series Dancing With The Stars as partner to sports broadcaster Des Cahill.

Mr Byrne was taken to St James's Hospital after being hit while making his way home at about midnight near Clifden Road.

According to a relative, Mr Byrne's wife, Kathleen (85), was said to be unaware of the tragedy as she is in a nursing home.

Anthony, a son of the elderly couple, said his father had suffered extensive injuries.

"The family is going up to the nursing home to break the news to my mam," he told the Herald.

"She's going to be absolutely devastated. She's 85. It's absolutely horrific.

"His hips are broken, his legs are in tatters. His arm is broken and his scalp is gone.

"We are all praying for a miracle," Anthony said.

A number of scans have been ordered by doctors treating the pensioner.

His relatives hope to learn more about his condition later today.

Mr Byrne's nephew, the Dublin city councillor Nial Ring, said family members are by his side and are hoping for the best.

He said his uncle has undergone a "lot of surgery". "He has always been a fit man," said Cllr Ring. "He was a butcher all of his life so he is very fit from working in slaughterhouses," he added.

Inspired

"He is very sprightly and goes out walking everyday."

Speaking yesterday, Mr Byrne's granddaughter Karen said he inspired her to forge a career as a dancer.

"I have no words, the pain we are all going through is horrific," she said. "He is such a kind-hearted gentleman who we all love so much.

"To get to the age of 86 at good health to then be struck by a car after having a few pints is just a living nightmare.

"We are all praying he will pull through this. He was who I got my dance moves from. He liked to joke, reminding me every time I seen him it's all down to him that I can dance."

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