AN elderly neighbour of a Cork man who was doused in petrol and set alight spent all night knocking on doors in their estate to gather funds for his recovery.
John Feighery, who heads the residents’ committee in the area, spearheaded a local whip-around for Keith Greaney at Dunard Estate in Mayfield.
The touching gesture comes just days after Mr Greaney, a 23-year-old father of three, was dragged out of his bed, savagely beaten, doused in petrol, and set alight.
Narrowly escaping with his life, Keith has been left in an induced coma and with life-changing injuries.
John, who is a much-respected member of the community, hopes that their efforts can serve as a beacon of hope during such a difficult time.
“We want to bring people together and get strong,” he said.
“The only thing we can do is to stand up and get on with our lives.
“Part of getting on with our lives means helping another family who is in need.
“All we are doing is praying that he gets better. We want him to get stronger and stronger.
Then, when he’s strong enough to come home he’ll be able to kickstart his life in comfort with the money raised from everyone in the community.”
He said they are also rebuilding the community.
“At the moment we are building our community again from the ground up.
“This is a gesture of kindness and a chance for other people to feel like they are doing something to help. Maybe it will even bring us all closer.”
A collection box will be placed in a local shop to enable the public to make donations from today.
Another resident helping with fundraising, who chose not to be named, said she longs for the day the area can be turned back into a vibrant community.
“Everyone is just appalled by what has happened and we want to stand behind the victim,” she said. “We will not be ruled by fear, nor will we be terrorised. Our hope is to turn this back into a vibrant community.”
She said that pulling together for Keith and his family has been their way of coping with the shock of the incident.
“We weren’t sure what to do so we just went to Michael Guineys and bought a collection box for a whip-around.
“A lot of the residents here haven’t entered the digital age. Doing an old-school whip-around meant that everyone could get involved. Not only that, a lot of people might not have much money or cards but there is a few euro to throw into a collection bucket.
“It’s important that a community comes together after a trauma like this.
“People need to feel they are doing something. This was the best way we knew how. In many ways, this is our way of dealing with what has happened.”