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‘After everything he went through…my son was born again’: Deliveroo rider’s father says João Ferreira is full of hope

The mayor of São José dos Campos arrived in Dublin yesterday and went straight to hospital where his son was no longer intubated and ‘begging to breathe on his own’

The father of a Deliveroo rider who was seriously injured by a Garda car on the M50 last weekend has arrived in Dublin from Brazil to be at his son’s side.

João Ferreira (23) was among a number of Brazilians who were trying to help a friend recover his stolen bike on Saturday afternoon, by following a tracking device, when the incident happened near junction 11, Tallaght. The group and gardaí were involved in the search for the bike.

Mr Ferreira and some of his friends stopped at a point along the motorway and he was struck by the Garda vehicle there. He ended up losing part of his right leg in the incident and remains in Tallaght University Hospital.

His father, Anderson Farias, the mayor of São José dos Campos, told The Irish Times on his arrival at Dublin Airport: “I cannot wait to see my son ... to hug and to be close to him”. The Brazilian Embassy in Dublin welcomed Mr Farias at the airport, and he went straight to hospital to be with João (23).


“I feel my heart calmer. I was able to touch his hand, hug him. I was able to tell him that I love him deeply,” Mr Farias said after seeing his son for the first time since the incident.

He said it was still unknown what impact the incident would have on his son’s life, but he was confident João would recover.

“After everything he went through ... my son was born again. Seeing him responding to me through tears and being with my wife again was heart-warming,” Mr Farias said.

Mr Ferreira’s mother, Sheila Thomaz, arrived in Dublin on Sunday after hearing that João was seriously injured and has been at his side since.

“Thank God he is improving. It came as a surprise to us that he is no longer intubated and is begging to breathe on his own. This is a huge advance,” she said, adding that doctors are very optimistic regarding his recovery prospects.

“He’s calm and conscious now. Of course, he is still in shock because it is one when you know you’ve lost a part of a leg. He wants to understand what has happened to him. But I tell him all the time to stay strong, to think positive and not to worry,” Ms Thomaz said.

“I don’t know if he will be traumatised by all this. If he wants to return [to Brazil] or not. But what he decides, we are here as a family to give him as much support as possible.”

Mr Farias said the Garda Síochána Ombudsman Commission (Gsoc) had contacted those who witnessed events at the scene and is now in possession of the relevant CCTV.

“I trust and give a vote of confidence, whether for the Irish Government or the Gsoc to actually carry out this investigation,” he said. “What happened must be explained and be cared for according to the law, and then things can change so that this situation doesn’t repeat to anyone else.”