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Jackson (8) required 30 stitches David Raleigh

'The dog tore the face off him': Father of boy savaged by dog speaks of Limerick park attack

The attack occurred just a week before a young woman was killed in Limerick in a separate dog attack involving a different breed.

A FATHER OF a boy who was savagely attacked by a dog in Limerick has spoken of the horror which left his son with 30 stitches to his face.

Joe Flynn, (58), said his son Jackson, (8), is “lucky” to be alive, after his head was grabbed by a dog and locked in the animal’s jaws last Wednesday, 29 May.

Mr Flynn said the death of 23 year-old Nicole Morey, who was mauled to death by her dogs on Tuesday night, prompted him to go public about the dog attack on his son, and to warn the public to be vigilant of any type of dog.

Mr Flynn said the dog that attacked his son was not a large dog, nor one that appeared to be on any restrictive breed lists.

However, he warned the terrier type dog nonetheless, caused serious damage to his son’s face, and the attack has “traumatised” his son as well and his six year old sister who also witnessed the attack in the People’s Park in Limerick City.

“We love going to the People’s Park, it’s great, the staff there and the park rangers are brilliant, and my young lad loved dogs and he always asked to pet a dog in the park, and he would give them a fast rub and let the dog lick his face,” Mr Flynn explained.

However, the family’s afternoon stroll in the park turned into a nightmare when the dog latched onto the boy’s face when he tried to pet the animal.

“There was a black terrier type of dog, some mad mixed breed, and my son went over and put his hand down to rub the dog. The dog was sitting down without a leash, with his tongue hanging out, and he (my son) went to rub the dog and the dog just locked onto his face.”

The dog tore the face off him.

“The dog bit him, and locked onto him, and then the dog let go and ran off.

“I’m not a religious person but I’m still thankful because if the dog got him (my son) in the neck and hit a vital vein, he might have bled out.”

Jackson underwent reconstructive facial surgery at University Hospital Limerick after the attack.

“When I had him (my son) cuddled into my hip and had his bite covered with a jumper, the dog started going for other people, and screaming at other dogs,” Mr Flynn said.

“The dog was going for everybody, barking and screaming.”

My kids don’t ever want to look at a dog again.

My Flynn aid the dog was not on a leash. He said those who want to have their dogs run loose should do so in designated dog parks that are fenced in.


He praised staff at University Hospital Limerick for their “brilliant” response and treatment of his son.

“I want to highlight the help we got at the hospital, I know it has (overcrowding) problems but they treated my child very quickly and very well.”

“When they saw the injuries on his face they knew he wouldn’t have been able to take the stitches so they said they would have to perform surgery.”

“They cleaned (the wounds) up and I couldn’t say anything good enough about the place, they were brilliant out there.”

Jackson had 30 stitches.

He always wanted a dog but he doesn’t want anything to do with a dog now.

Mr Flynn warned parents: “Don’t let your child go near a dog because you don’t know about the dog. Think twice.”

Asked if he would be in favour of banning certain dogs from Ireland, he said it would be better if owners were more educated about managing their dogs.

He suggested owners of dogs should have to complete a course in managing a dog before they are allowed own a dog.

“It was a terrier that did it to my son, so I think it should be all types of dogs, they can turn on you.”

Meanwhile, gardaí at Roxboro Road, Limerick have appealed for information about the dog attack on Nicole Morey.

When gardaí arrived at Ms Morey’s house in Fedamore late Tuesday night they encountered four aggressive dogs. A member of the armed Garda Emergency Response Unit (ERU) shot one of the dogs, and three others had to be restrained.

It’s understood Nicole was killed by her pet XL Bully dog. Videos circulating online show her dancing with a similar type dog, and friends and family said she had treated the animals “like her children”.

Her family were to hold a vigil in her memory and release balloons into the sky later this evening.

On Wednesday, Gardaí asked the public not to share video footage of the fatal dog attack, which was apparently recorded on a security camera at the scene, and which was circulating on social media.

Gardaí notified the office of the Limerick City and County Coroner to arrange for an inquest hearing into determining the cause of her death.

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