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24th May 2022

Claire Byrne viewers heartbroken after Des Cahill recalls “parent’s worst nightmare”


RTE presenter Des Cahill moved Claire Byrne Live viewers to tears on Monday night’s show as he spoke about one family’s “worst nightmare”.

Appearing on the show to speak about a fundraiser he and his GAA club had set up to raise money for a player recovering from a traumatic brain injury.

Sean Drummond suffered the injury after an accident in 2019 when he was knocked down after finishing his master’s degree in London.

Speaking on the show, his mum Jenny told Claire: “Sean is 27. He was in an accident in 2019.

“He did an engineering degree. He finished that, he worked for a little while with a research group in UCD and then he got into a masters in Imperial in London and headed off in the end of August 2018 to start that masters and he had finished kind of the academic year in March.

“He finished his exams. He was going out celebrating that weekend with a group of people and he was coming home on the Tuesday and he was going to be playing for Cuala and he was involved in an accident and suffered a traumatic brain injury.”

Sean was on life support for the first 72 hours in hospital in the Acute Care Unit and underwent two emergency surgeries to remove large sections of his skull aiming to reduce swelling in his brain.

The next two months saw Sean in a coma before he underwent surgery to insert artificial plates into his skull. He returned home after two years in hospital.

Speaking about the incident, Des got emotional as he spoke about the young man, saying: “Well Sean came through, I was involved in the senior team, and Sean came through with, they won the minor championship, a group of very talented young fellas came through together. So I watched them coming from being quiet, to being new in with the senior group, to then becoming the main group of the seniors when they’d be out having the craic and you know they’d never invite us over to sit with them or anything.

“So he was academically very bright fella, Very bright guy and so he was going over to do, it was to do with artificial intelligence, so I said oh what are you actually studying? He said well you wouldn’t really understand and I said oh don’t be so insulting what is it? So he told me and I didn’t understand.”

Explaining that Sean’s friends and community coming together to raise money is what got him so emotional, he said the group has raised over €400,000 and soon hopes to reach their target of €600,000.

The fundraiser has been set up through a GoFundMe to support his recovery.