Family of man beaten in Sligo attack say there's now a "glimmer of hope" 3 months ago

Family of man beaten in Sligo attack say there's now a "glimmer of hope"

He remains on life support.

The family of Tom Niland, a 73-year-old man who was beaten during an aggravated burglary, have given an update on his condition.

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Mr Niland was left in a critical condition following the assault at his home in Sligo last month. He is currently on life support.

Over the weekend, his cousin, Michael Walsh told The Star that he seems to be experiencing some brain activity.

Mr Walsh said: "It was coming to the stage where they thought that they were going to switch it off a couple of weeks ago and we were all prepared for it.

"They have to do three tests before they can turn off the machine legally."

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He explained: "It’s to do with brain stems to see if there’s any activity there. They did two of them and it proved that there was no activity there, but the third one then was inconclusive.

"So they had to abandon that and they put him on some other medication and [now it’s emerged] that there’s definitely brain stem activity."

Tom's cousin continued: "The ventilator is breathing for him. If you open his eyes a little there’s nothing there. There’s no response. It’s like he’s dead but the machine is doing all the breathing for him."

He then said that there is a "glimmer of hope" that his condition will improve.

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Mr Walsh said: "Every day there’s a chance that something might happen. There is still hope. But we are a long way off anything serious happening.

The assault took place on Tuesday 18 January. It's understood that three masked men forced their way into his home and assaulted him, before leaving with a sum of money.

Tom managed to crawl from his home and get the attention of passing motorists. Gardaí were then alerted by his neighbours.