A 22-YEAR-OLD man who was left for dead after being shot in the head as he sat in a car in John’s Square in Limerick two years ago has said he can never live independently again on account of his injuries.
Daniel Phillips said he had been told he had “nearly died a couple of times” as he attempted to recover from the gun attack which left members of the public running for cover.
Sentencing was adjourned at the Central Criminal Court on Monday in the case of 30-year-old Shane Mason of Sean Heuston Place, who was found guilty of the attempted murder of Daniel Phillips.
Mason’s barrister Brian McInerney told Mr Justice Garrett Sheehan that his client continued to protest his innocence and would be appealing convictions which also include possession of a firearm at John’s Square on May 24, 2010.
Det Sgt Kevin McHugh said no clear motive had been established for the attack in which Mr Phillips was shot twice. The detective also read from Daniel Phillips’ victim impact statement, in which the 22-year-old contrasted the “brilliant” life he enjoyed before the attack with his current dependency.
Before May 2010, Mr Phillips had been living with his girlfriend, studying for his Leaving Cert and playing soccer for Moyross As. He had no recollection of the incident which had “turned my whole life upside down”.
After having surgery in Cork to have two bullets removed from his head and body, Mr Phillips was in a coma for five weeks before being transferred back to Limerick Regional.
“It was touch and go for me for a while. I got infections, my lungs collapsed twice and I got pneumonia. I was told that I nearly died a couple of times,” he said.
He described a long road to recovery at the National Rehabilitation Centre, where he had to be taught how to walk and talk again.
“At this time, I cannot see myself going out to live independently because I have some good days but some awful, awful bad days. I get very depressed on my bad days. My memory is very bad and I have to be reminded to take my medication as well as many other things,” he said.
Mr Phillips could no longer work, drive, play sports or drink alcohol. He could only walk short distances; stand for a short period of time and had to be helped up stairs. His injuries also affected the lives of family members who were helping him “in a huge way”.
Mason, who has almost 180 previous convictions, will be sentenced on October 9.
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