THE FATHER of murder victim Robert Sheehan has said his son â€œnever got overâ€ what happened to two young children - Millie and Gavin Murray - who suffered horrific injuries six years ago today.
Robert Sheehan, who was murdered aged 21 a week ago, acted as a look-out man on September 10, 2006 as two other men petrol-bombed the car the children were sitting in.
But dad Patrick said Robert, who later helped pull Gavin from the burning vehicle, was remorseful for this actions. â€œHe was in shock for two years after that, he never got over it,â€ he told Limerickâ€™s Live 95FM.
Mr Sheehan, a father of five, said he â€œdidnâ€™t condoneâ€ what his son did that day.
â€œThey were kids, they were told to do something by somebody and they done it. You can be sure my Robert never knew there was kids in that car. Nobody knew there was kids in car. If Robert knew there was kids in the car why would be try to save their lives? He was totally sorry, he was in shock for two years after that. He never got over it. I always said I was sorry to the family and I still am.â€
Following the attack, which shocked the nation and led to the three young men being jailed for their part in the petrol-bombing, the children were left with permanent disfigurements, and required hours of surgery and counselling.
Robert Sheehan received two years detention for his â€œlesserâ€ role in the attack, while Jonathan Oâ€™Donoghue and John Mitchell received prison terms of seven and eight years respectively.
A year ago - on the fifth anniversray of the incident - Gavin and Millieâ€™s mother, Sheila Murray, said her children would never be free of the consequences of the attack.
Speaking about the murder of his son, Patrick Sheehan said since he found out Robert had been shot in the early hours of last Sunday, September 2, life has been â€œa blankâ€.
â€œI left the wedding at 12.30, drove home to Cappamore and the phone rang at 5am. My wife Majella told me Robert had been shot, so I directly went to the hospital. Since then itâ€™s a blank. Itâ€™s like Iâ€™m on autopilot. They told us heâ€™d only have about 10 minutes to live. They knew he was gone, but they tried everything. From that minute on he was really only a vessel for the organs. We all hoped and prayed there would be a miracle, but there wasnâ€™t,â€ he said.
The heart-broken dad is only comforted by his belief that his son did not suffer during the shooting. Robert died when they shot him. Robert felt nothing. It was just like getting a belt to the back of the head with a bat and that was it, he was gone. He never felt a thing since that second, never suffered. I think his pupils dilated for two seconds in the ambulance and that was it.â€
For more, see todayâ€™s Limerick Leader, tabloid edition.