Boy who fell from sixth floor turns on Limerick Christmas lights

‘It could have been the worst Christmas imaginable’, says mother of Neil Shanahan

Neil Shanahan (3) who helped turned the Christmas lights on in Limerick Sunday, fell 70ft from the top of the Limerick Strand Hotel on July 2nd this year.


A three-year-old boy who survived a 70ft fall from a hotel this year switched on the Christmas lights in Limerick city on Sunday.

Neil Shanahan (3) fell from the top of the Limerick Strand Hotel on July 2nd this year.

Despite a few minor injuries Neil was home again after spending a little over a month in hospital.

His parents Martina and Mike Shanahan beamed as they admitted this Christmas will be the best they’ve ever had.

“I’m not sure we can possibly have a better Christmas than this. We are here tonight at the invitation of Limerick City and County Council, turning on the Christmas lights when it could have been so different,” Mrs Shanahan said.

“It could have been the worst Christmas imaginable but it’s turned out to be the one we are most grateful for because Neil is with us.”

Mr Shanahan said adventurous Neil, who rode a lift up to the top floor of the Strand hotel before falling over the rooftop balcony, lapped up tonight’s festivities.

“Neil, having had so many medics around him during his recovery, is well used to attention and he lapped it all up. He loved it,” Mike added.

The ‘Light up Limerick’ switching on ceremony took place on the city’s main thoroughfare O’Connell Street.

Mayor Kieran O’Hanlon, who helped Neil kick start the Christmas cheer remarked: “We’re delighted to have had this incredible young man with us tonight.

“His story is one that gives us all hope and Christmas is a great time for hope. To see the smile on his face and his parents’ face was fantastic.”

Over 4,000 people warmed up the atmosphere despite freezing fog and below zero temperatures and special snow cannons sprayed the crowd under a fireworks display.