Published Monday, 08 October 2012
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(Users are advised that they may find some details in this report distressing.)
Joe Kelly said a group of kids were throwing stones and fireworks at the back of the New Lodge flats where his son Colum lives.
When the 23-year-old opened the window at around 10pm on Saturday and put his head out "to shout at the kids to go away so that he could hear the football", a firework exploded about six inches from his face.
"He has extensive eye damage and facial damage," said the local community worker.
"His retina was sliced in two, his eyelid was sliced. His forehead has a scar from his eyebrow to the top of his head, plus extensive burns."
Mr Kelly said Colum's injuries were horrific and his wife would not go into triage to see the extent of the damage.
"I did and I was physically sick seeing the damage," he told UTV. "My son's eye ball was literally out of his head."
Colum Kelly is still being treated in hospital, but the lasting effects of the attack will not be known until the swelling in his eye goes down.
"We can just hope. The surgeon said that with the extent of the injuries the optic nerve could be damaged, but we will have to wait and see," added Mr Kelly.
Sinn Féin councillor Conor Maskey said he wants to see fireworks taken off the streets.
"Those making a profit from selling these items, with clearly total disregard for the community, should cease immediately.
"Parents need to be extremely vigilant that their children are not handling these fireworks, both for their own safety and the safety of others.
"The community should send a clear signal to those that sell illegal fireworks that it is not acceptable and information on people selling them should be brought to the PSNI. My thoughts are with the family of the young man injured and hopefully he will make a full recovery."