The family of a 13-year-old boy who sustained a serious head injury in a hit-and-run on Cork's northside has called on the female motorist involved in the incident to "do the right thing" and hand herself in to gardaí.
Donna Duggan told the Neil Prendeville show, on Cork's Red FM, that she was deeply shocked to find that the motorist left the scene after hitting her younger brother Jack, knocking him off a footpath and up in the air.
The youngster landed on his head with Donna saying that at one point his face looked like a Halloween mask it was so damaged.
The teen had to undergo emergency surgery in Cork University Hospital (CUH). He was left shaken but is recovering from the incident which occurred on October 3 last.
Donna made a public appeal for help in tracing the motorist.
"On Monday, October 3 between 6pm and 6.05pm my brother was walking with my partner's nephew near St Vincent's GAA Clubhouse up past Blarney Road in Cork.
"He was walking across the road - believe it or not his right leg was on the pavement (when) a blonde woman driving a silver car, we are not sure of the make, clipped his other leg with her car."
"He went up into the air and hit down onto the ground."
"I'd say she probably felt: 'Oh my God I am after hitting a child.' Whatever happened, she decided to drive away."
Donna said she couldn't understand how anyone could cause such damage to a young boy and then knowingly flee the scene.
The family received permission from gardaí to make their own appeal to trace the hit-and-run driver.
"For weeks I was thinking, will I post (on social media) about this? I got permission from the Gardaí to post something - I said to them that I needed to do something. He is a child.
"The Gardaí said I could post but not to put anything out there (that might damage any future case)."
Jack was out walking with his best friend who saw the accident unfold.
"Jack's head was the first thing to strike the road. My partner's nephew is actually Jack's best friend. He went to walk towards the silver car to say: 'You just hit my best friend.' He walked towards the car. It must have been the shock or fright but they don't have much recollection of it."
Gardaí are still trying to establish the make of car involved but they are satisfied it was a silver vehicle driven by a woman with blonde hair.
"Gurranabraher Gardaí do have information - they have clear CCTV footage of the woman and the car. But they don't have a registration. They think they know the make but they don't want to (confirm) that at the moment.
"He had marks and abrasions to his knees, fingers and a massive haematoma (blood suffusion) on his forehead," Donna said.
Donna says that the size of the swelling from the haematoma on Jack's forehead left his entire face distended.
"It didn't seem that serious at first. Jack gets embarrassed and he jumped up straight away. He was saying: 'I am fine, I am fine.' But he wasn't. Jack was discharged from the emergency department but had to be brought back."
The swelling didn't really start until the following day (Tuesday) and he began to vomit when he woke up. We rushed him back to A&E and it was the following week, actually, when it began to swell badly."
"By the day he changed - by his left eye. It was like something you would make up for Halloween. It was unbelievable - I could not comprehend how this could happen and how a woman could drive away from the scene like that? I just cannot understand it."
"I just hope that this woman is scrolling through social media and comes across my post. If she is listening, Jack had to go for emergency surgery on October 20 - he was rushed back into A&E at CUH as the haematoma started to leak and it had become very infected.
"All the doctors and nurses - and they have been in the medical profession for years - none of them had ever seen a haematoma like this in their lives."
Gardaí are investigating the and run incident. Members of the public with information are asked to contact the station in Gurranabraher or their nearest Garda station.