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Balloon day raises funds for man left with devastating brain injuries

Shane had finally been allowed go home
Shane had finally been allowed go home

A Balloon Race and Family Fun Day was held in the Palace Grounds in Tuam today to raise funds for a man left with devastating brain injuries after an unprovoked attack five years ago.

Shane Grogan, 24, was struck with a brick in the unprovoked attack during Galway Race week in August 2012.

After five years in hospital, the Grogan family received planning permission to erect a new house on a site on the outskirts of Tuam, Co Galway.

Shane's new home will be adapted to make it accessible for him to live in and it is hoped an exercise room and a room for a nurse to stay overnight in.

Shane’s father, Joe Grogan, said that it’s been a “long battle” to get Shane home as he has been “living in hospitals for the last five years”.

He told the Irish Independent: “He spent time in Beaumont Hospital, Galway University Hospital, the National Rehabilitation Hospital in Dun Laoghaire and in England too for treatment. He’s in a nursing home now and one of us would spend six or seven hours a day with him there.”

Joe and his wife Joan currently live above a business in Tuam, which would be unsuitable for Shane.

The majority of the funds to build the house are coming from the Care for Shane Foundation which was set up by the Grogans and their friends following Shane’s assault.

Joe added: “Fundraising was a huge part of where we got the funds. We hold a balloon launch every race week to raise funds for Shane. It distracts us from

the week that’s in it.”

He explained that it has been a struggle to get Shane the “basic human rights he deserves”.

“Not a lot has been done for people in this country who have brain injuries. It’s very hard. It’s a battle. We’ll win it eventually but sometimes you do meet very negative people who don’t have time for people like Shane.”

Joe finds it “hard to believe” that it’s been five years since Shane’s assault and added that this time of year is hard as the anniversary is approaching.

 “He was full of joy that night and had the whole of his life ahead of him. I was with him that night and he was happy because he’d had a few winners that day. He was a fine young man. It’s still very difficult,” explained Joe.

A Care for Shane account has been set up in St Jarlaths Credit Union Tuam where donations can be made to Account No: 496900.

You can donate to Care For Shane here