Mum paralysed in shooting in front of daughter vows to 'not let scumbags win'

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Sinead Connolly in hospital in the wake of the vicious shooting which left her in a wheelchair
Sinead Connolly in hospital in the wake of the vicious shooting which left her in a wheelchair

A mum paralysed when she was shot three times at home in front of her young daughter has vowed not to let the “scumbags” win.

Sinead Connolly, 34, was shot three times at her home as her seven-year-old daughter Leah looked on in horror.

The mum of one died twice on the operating table as doctors scrambled to save her life before going into a coma for 15 days.

At the time she was given an 8% chance of survival after one of the bullets hit her lung, while another hit her spine.

Despite the violence, she has declared she is not a victim - but a survivor.

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Mum paralysed in shooting in front of daughter vows to 'not let scumbags win'Sinead before the shooting in March 2020

She told the Irish Mirror: “They are scumbags as far as I’m concerned. I’m so angry with them. They could have killed me, my friends and my child.

"They took my independence and my time with my child away. I used to walk everywhere and do all the things a mother does for her child and I can’t do any of that now, I have missed out on making special memories with her.

“I was holding on to life by a thread. My life has been a living hell since this all happened and I’m going to be in a wheelchair now for the rest of my life but I’m not going to let them win.

“I’m not a victim as far as I’m concerned, I’m a survivor and I will go on and have a life with my little girl.

Facing life in a wheelchair, she is currently waiting on two procedures to give her back her independence which could take three years.

Recalling the attack in Bluebell, South Dublin on March 6, 2020, for the first time, Sinead said her main concern was the safety of her little girl Leah.

Mum paralysed in shooting in front of daughter vows to 'not let scumbags win'Sinead Connolly with her daughter Leah
Mum paralysed in shooting in front of daughter vows to 'not let scumbags win'Sinead Connolly pictured in hospital with her mum, Helen and daughter, Leah (pic supplied by family)

She said: “I just heard a bang which must have been the door being pushed in and then Dean shot me when I stood up. I remember saying, ‘What the f***’ and that’s when he shot me.

“I was just thinking about Leah and my four friends, I was hoping nobody would open the door into the room they were in because if they did I believe Dean would have shot them too.

“They were sitting on the floor holding the door closed with their backs. Leah said he tried to open the door and she heard a noise which I now believe was the gun maybe jamming.

“I just kept looking at that door before I lost consciousness. I was fighting to stay awake because I wanted to make sure Leah was safe.

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“I didn’t care if he shot me six times as long as he didn’t go near that door. I tried to reach for the TV remote to throw at Dean and all the power started going in my arm and then I struggled to breath.

“In the space of literally 30 seconds my whole body started to shut down.

“I’m so glad my friends were there at the time because they helped protect Leah and then stopped the bleeding on my chest and gave me CPR which probably saved my life.”

Sinead added she would like to meet with Justice Minister Helen McEntee to discuss her case and offer some advice on how to help future victims of violent crime.

The young mother said she also wants to train to be a counsellor so she can help other women who have been victims of violence.

Dean McCarthy, of Bluebell, was jailed for 15 years in March 2022 after he pleaded guilty to attempted murder.

In May, Joseph Byrne, of La Touche Road, Bluebell, admitted possession of a semi-automatic handgun with intent to endanger life and was jailed for nine-and-a-half years.

In December Paul Mooney, of Ring Street, Inchicore, was jailed for five years for disposing of the firearm used in the gun attack.

Emma McMenamy

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