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Young boy who survived six-storey fall from hotel balcony turns on Limerick Christmas lights

“I’m not sure we can possibly have a better Christmas than this,” the Shanahan family have said.

IT COULD HAVE been the worst Christmas imaginable but it’s turned out to be the one we are most grateful for because Neil is with us.

A two-year-old boy who survived a six-storey fall from a balcony in July switched on the festive lights in Limerick this evening after making a full recovery.

PastedImage-30383 Source: Sean Curtin

His family have expressed their delight, saying they could not possibly have a better Christmas.

Neil Shanahan from Farranshone was with his family at a coffee morning at the Strand Hotel on 2 July when he wandered off and found his way to the sixth floor. He made his way to a balcony and fell 20 metres onto patio furniture outside.

He was treated at the scene then rushed to University Hospital Limerick. He was later transferred to Temple Street Children’s Hospital where his family kept a vigil at his bedside.

His miraculous recovery was there for all to see tonight as he joined Limerick Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon to ‘Light Up Limerick’ from O’Connell Street.

“It does make us think, at the same time, of those who have not been so lucky and our hearts really go out to them,” said his mother Martina.

“I’m not sure we can possibly have a better Christmas than this. It could have been the worst Christmas imaginable but it’s turned out to be the one we are most grateful for because Neil is with us.”

Neil’s dad Mike also expressed his delight at the invite to the event.

It was an incredible experience tonight. Neil, having had so many medics around him during his recovery, is well used to attention and he lapped it all up. He loved it.

O’Hanlon added: “We’re delighted to have had this incredible young man with us tonight. His story is one that gives us all hope and Christmas is a great time for hope.  To see the smile on his face and his parents’ face was fantastic.

Crowds were entertained by street performers, bands and soprano Sinéad O’Brien, as well as the Unity Gospel Choir.

Santa was there too, of course.

PastedImage-44029 The two-year-old boy who miraculously survived a sixth-storey balcony fall in Limerick in July was on hand for switching on the city’s festive lights tonight. Source: Sean Curtin

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