30 April 2005

Belfast Telegraph

Shot boy Darragh showing signs of recovery

By Deborah McAleese
30 April 2005

THE five-year-old Fermanagh school boy who was shot in his school grounds is no longer in a critical condition, it was confirmed today.

But little Darragh Somers remained seriously ill at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children this morning.

A spokeswoman for the hospital said: "The clinical team has said that Darragh is more stable. His condition has now been described as seriously ill, but stable. He is no longer critical."

Yesterday Darragh woke briefly and responded to his mother Janine.

A PSNI spokesman said: "Darragh was awake for a time and responded to his mother. While his condition has slightly improved he is still very ill."

Darragh was shot in the head while playing in the grounds of St Patrick's Primary School in Mullinaskea.

According to family priest Fr John Halton, the local community has greatly welcomed the news of a slight improvement in Darragh's condition.

He said: "It is great news, but it is still early days. The community is praying for Darragh and his family. We are very hopeful, but the child is still seriously ill. However, every little bit of progress is good news."

Detectives are hoping that news of some progress in Darragh's condition may result in new information coming to light.

"Police would appeal to anyone who has not yet contacted them to come forward," a PSNI spokesman said.

The responsibility for the shooting has been a mystery, with initial speculation that he was struck by a stray bullet from a hunter's gun.

Police have appealed for the owner of a dark blue Toyota four-by-four seen at the school just before the shooting to get in touch.

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