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Thursday 19 July 2018

'How could anyone leave a child for dead on road?' asks dad

The shattered bike lies on the road after the hit and run in Tallaght
The shattered bike lies on the road after the hit and run in Tallaght

The father of a young boy who was seriously injured in a hit-and-run has said his son was left for dead on the side of the road "like a piece of meat".

Sean O'Reilly (14) was hit by a car while out cycling on the Cheeverstown Road in Tallaght on Sunday night.

The incident happened at around 8.50pm, and gardai are appealing for witnesses to come forward.

Speaking to Dublin Talks on 98FM, John O'Reilly said his son is "lucky to be alive".

"I was at the scene about two minutes after it happened and I wouldn't like anybody to see what I seen," he said.

Fractures

"It was horrific. I just can't understand how somebody would leave a child for dead on the side of the road.

"Even if the driver was in shock, they could have come back, but they didn't."

Mr O'Reilly said his son suffered two breaks in one leg, a shattered elbow, multiple fractures to his skull and "bruises all over".

He is in intensive care in Crumlin Children's Hospital.

Mr O'Reilly discovered his son had been seriously injured when he phoned his mobile and a passer-by at the scene answered.

"He's talking now and he knows what happened, but it will be a long road to recovery," Mr O'Reilly added.

"The doctors are saying it could take up to six months."

Sean's aunt, Ciara O'Reilly, shared a photo on Facebook showing how the bike was split in two.

Gardai said the car involved was "a black saloon", possibly a VW Passat or a Saab.

Sinn Fein councillor Louise Dunne, of South Dublin County Council, said Sean's family were last night maintaining a vigil at his bedside.

"It's horrific," she said. "I heard the family is in an awful state. It's horrendous that someone wouldn't stop and keep going and leave a child lying on the road. It's absolutely heartbreaking.

"It's a long enough road and there are lots of CCTV cameras."

Fianna Fail councillor Charlie O'Connor, who lives near the scene of the accident, said the community is "appalled" by the driver's callous disregard for a young boy's life.

He is hopeful the driver will be caught and is urging anyone with information to come forward.

"In terms of a garda investigation, I would ask people to provide any information they can," he said, adding that the driver could be from anywhere and is not necessarily a local.

"It's an important road. It runs parallel to the Luas line and it's well used," he said.

"But the nature of that road means traffic could be coming or going from anywhere."

Meanwhile, it emerged yesterday that a three-year-old girl who died in a head-on crash in Co Kildare was being taken to her creche by her father when the accident happened.

The girl was named locally as Abigail Conlon, from Boleybeg, near Brannockstown.

Wreckage

Abigail and her dad, Colm, were not far from the creche when the accident occurred, on the road from Brannockstown to Kilcullen.

Local people were able to keep Abigail alive until emergency services arrived, while her dad was being cut from the wreckage.

She was taken to Naas General Hospital and later transferred to Temple Street Children's Hospital, but lost her fight for life on Sunday.

Abigail was the only child of Mr Conlon, originally from the Lucan area of Dublin, and his Cork-born wife, Amy.

Gardai are appealing for witnesses to the crash to contact Naas Garda Station on 045 884300 or the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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