A YOUNG WOMAN who was shot in the neck by a remorseless gunman in Cork city said the incident has left her completely broken.
An eleven-year sentence was imposed on Gavin Sheehan yesterday, a garda informer, who shot Ciara Sheehan in the neck through the window of a house in the Hollywood Estate on the north side of the city last May.
Ms Sheehan, who is no relation to the gunman, said in her victim impact statement:
“The night I got shot, all that went through my head was that I was going to die. Since this has happened to me I am completely broken, I am a different person. I’m not the happy Ciara I was this time last year."
"I have no confidence in myself anymore. When I look in the mirror every morning all I can see is the big ugly scar on the side of my neck.”
“Sometimes when I’m talking to people I can feel them looking at the scar and I get really uncomfortable. Some nights I cannot sleep as it all runs through my head."
Ms Sheehan said she gets flashbacks and suffers anxiety attacks because of the incident.
"Last week I got three in one day and I had to leave work early. That has happened more than once," she added.
“I miss days of work because of psychiatric appointments which I have to attend every month. I have been prescribed anti-depressant and relaxing tablets which I don’t want to be taking but they sometimes help get over the panic attacks.”
Ms Sheehan said she received a Christmas card from the shooter.
“That’s the last thing I wanted to see. That set me back a lot and I couldn’t go to work that day because I was too upset. All I want to do is get back to the old me, the old Ciara. I am sick of being depressed all the time. I can never be happy and it comes between me and my friends and family. I have lost all trust since this happened. I feel people are looking at me and talking about me. I’m so paranoid at times. If I hear loud bangs I get a fright. The last time I heard a loud bang it sounded like a gun and I instantly put my hand to my neck. I think no young girl should have to go through what I went through. I am going through torture - it feels like torture."
"Even standing next to a window I never know what to expect. I hope this man Gavin Sheehan gets the help he really needs.”