Firework explodes on teen (14)

Some of the injuries sustained by 14 year-old Joseph Gillen. (0210MM13)
Some of the injuries sustained by 14 year-old Joseph Gillen. (0210MM13)

A 14 year-old boy has said he was “terrified” when a firework which was thrown at him exploded in his lap, injuring his private parts.

Joseph Gillen said he was with friends in the Rosemount area of the city on Friday night at around 9.45pm when a firework was thrown over a wall and exploded in his lap while he was sitting down.

The firework burned through his clothes and caused injuries to his thigh and private parts. The schoolboy was later taken to hospital where he received treatment for his injuries.

“I was just sitting there with my friends when a firework came over the wall and exploded on me. I was terrified and the noise was deafening. When it went off it burned right through my tracksuit bottoms and also left holes in the top I was wearing and the t-shirt underneath,” he said.

“It was very painful and has left me with cuts and burns on my legs and body,” he added.

The teenager said he has had difficulty sleeping following the incident. “I had a ringing in my ears for hours afterwards,” he said.

The boy’s father, also called Joseph, condemned those responsible. “I was shocked when I found out what happened. It’s terrible that someone would throw a firework at another person. What happened to my son was awful but it could have been a lot worse. If he had grabbed hold of the firework before it went off, he could have lost his hand,” he said.

Martin Collins of the IRSP joined calls for an end to the sale of illegal fireworks. “We condemn the people who are selling illegal fireworks to children. It needs to stop before we have a young person seriously injured.

“Unfortunately this was not an isolated incident and we are calling on parents to make sure their children are not buying illegal fireworks and are not involved in this type of activity. We don’t want to see anyone else getting injured by fireworks,” he said.