Man 'may lose sight in eye' after Belfast firework incident

A north Belfast man has suffered severe eye injuries after a firework exploded in his face.

Collum Kelly, 23, was at home in Carlisle Parade in New Lodge when he was disturbed by young people who were throwing stones and fireworks outside.

When he opened his window to shout at them, the firework exploded.

He underwent surgery at the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast on Sunday and has been told he has a slim chance of regaining sight in his right eye.

His father, Joe, said: "The doctors are worried about damage to his optical nerves.

"The surgeon told him this morning that he has a 10% chance of regaining his sight."

North Belfast Sinn Fein councillor Conor Maskey said the incident showed why "illegal fireworks need to be taken off the streets".

"Parents need to be extremely vigilant that their children are not handling these fireworks, both for their own safety and the safety of others," he added.

"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."

It is a legal requirement to have a licence to buy, sell or use fireworks in Northern Ireland.

Licences for a garden fireworks display cost a minimum of £30.

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