THE father of a young Irishman receiving treatment in Britain after a brutal attack left him with brain injuries, has described his family’s daily battle three years on.
Shane Grogan, 25, was walking his girlfriend home in the early hours of August 5, 2012, after the pair spent a day at the Galway Races, when he was hit on the head with a brick.
Since then he has been receiving treatment in Ireland, but in May he arrived at the Leamington Spa Rehabilitation Hospital - a leading centre dealing with traumatic brain injuries in England.
During his three-month stay, Shane has undergone extensive treatment focusing on regaining his physical movements.
His father Joe explains that while his mental state has not changed, the family remain positive.
Speaking to The Irish Post, he said: “There have been some glimmers of hope.
“He reacted slightly when the nurses came into the room and said “hello” a week ago, and he turned his head around.
“But it is the start of a long journey. We’ll have to continue Shane’s treatment back home.
“The treatment Shane has received at Leamington is fabulous, I can’t speak highly enough of the help he’s got.”
Along with his mother Joan, Shane will live at the Warwickshire hospital for the duration of his treatment under the care of rehabilitation consultant Dr Derar Badwan.
According to Mr Grogan, his son will remain in Britain until August 20.
On that fateful August day in 2012 Mr Grogan, a funeral director by trade, had joined his son and his girlfriend earlier in the evening for a few drinks. He left to go home at 10pm.
In the early hours of the morning, Mr Grogan received a telephone call from his son’s girlfriend, frantically screaming that Shane had been attacked.
The pair were just five minutes away from Shane’s home in Tuam, Co. Galway when the assault took place.
It left him with brain injuries so severe that he is now unable to walk or talk and requires round-the-clock care.
Shane, a former accounts executive for a medical manufacturing company, is described as “fun loving, an avid Liverpool fan and a music festival fan” by his father, who said the last week has been particularly difficult.
“It’s really tough this week,” he said. “As a kid I used to go to the Galway Races, but I’ve not been since Shane’s attack. It’s hard, we should be having fun together, but we’re not.”
To date, over €120,000 has been raised for the family through a fundraising campaign that was set up to support the Grogans following the attack.
In 2013, Shane Byrne, 19 and originally from Kilcarrig Avenue in Tallaght, Co. Dublin, but living in Tuam at the time, pleaded guilty to reckless assault causing serious harm.
He was jailed for two and a half years.