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Sunday 3 December 2023 Dublin: 0°C
GoFundMe Three-year-old Zac Higgins is in an induced coma in Temple Street hospital in Dublin.
Zac Higgins

Fundraising appeal for toddler in coma after Cork hit-and-run

The three-year-old boy sustained serious injuries when he was hit by a car outside his home last week.

A FUNDRAISING APPEAL has been launched to pay for the extensive recovery period which is anticipated for a two-year-old boy in an induced coma following a hit-and-run.

Paul Higgins and his wife Aishling Sexton are currently keeping vigil at the bedside of their son, Zac, at Temple Street Hospital in Dublin.

Doctors hope to begin the process of taking him out of a coma this week.

It could take up to 72 hours for the youngster to come out of the coma. The recovery period for Zac will last from three months up to two years.

Zac incurred serious injuries after being knocked down when he ran on to the road while playing with a ball at Castle Meadows in Mahon, Cork city on 25 March. He was hit by a blue Mazda 6 which left the scene.

A dedicated bank account and Go Fund Me page was launched today.

Sinn Féin councillor Chris O’Leary said that the family “really appreciate” the ongoing support.

” Paul, Aishling and their two children have been in Dublin for the last week. As you can imagine they are by the bedside. For this tragedy to come on any family is a huge shock.

It is a very difficult situation for them. We have pulled this together to do what we can as a community. The situation is long term treatment in Temple Street. That in itself is a huge strain on the family.


The launch of the appeal was held at Ringmahon Rovers in Mahon where Paul is a treasurer.

Representatives of the club say that the father of three has been active onsite since he was a child himself. He dedicates huge amounts of time to coaching four to six-year-olds in the area.

O’Leary says that everyone knows Paul and his wife Aishling because “they do extraordinary things in the community.”

I have seen Paul giving to the community and involved in the community over the years. Soccer is his first love but he is involved in other things as well.

The couple’s two other children Max (7) and Belle (4) are staying with family members.

Alan Higgins, brother of Paul, says the kids are “the best they can be” and they are “trying to keep things normal for them.”

“We want to give them the support they need. It is all we can do. ”

Local schools are set to have “No uniform” days with the proceeds raised being donated to the fund. Other sporting organisers in Cork have pledged their support at this difficult time.

‘I just froze’

Zac was a regular at matches in Ringmahon Rangers before he was knocked down. He suffered broken bones and a bleed to the brain in the accident.

His mother, Aishling, told the Neil Prendeville show on Cork’s Red FM that she thought he was dead on the ground because he was like a “little ball.”

“I started screaming ‘He’s dead’. I thought he was dead. I just froze with the shock. There was an eerie silence.”

Meanwhile, gardaí are to forward a file to the DPP after releasing without charge a 17-year-old male who was arrested for questioning about the hit and run.

They have also spoken to two of the three passengers they believe were in the car at the time.

Donations can be made to the Go Fund Me Page. More than €10,000 has been raised in just one day. The target is €50,000.

Olivia Kelleher
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