Friends rally to help a workingman’s family

 A victim of violence

Photo courtesy the Moore family
The Moore family at their Lower Mills home this month, with Ciaran (center). Friends and family have rallied around the family after a terrible incident last December that left Ciaran with a traumatic brain injury, and will hold a benefit for them in Florian Hall this Sunday, Oct. 2., 3-9 p.m.

A year ago, Ciaran Moore was a man on the go – a construction foreman who loved Irish hurling and the 12 Bens Tavern and was living in Lower Mills with his wife and fully involved in raising three active children.

A violent incident in the early morning hours of Dec. 27, 2021, changed the family’s life forever – an assault in the Old Dorchester Post in Adams Village unrelated to Ciaran but which resulted in him being hit while he was on the way to the bathroom. That assault resulted in a traumatic brain injury for which recovery is still a long way into the future.

For all the frustrating days and tough battles on his road to recovery, the shining light helping to lead the way has been a community that has wrapped its generous arms around the family and hasn’t let go since early January.

“Whoever said it takes a village was talking about Adams Village,” said Ciaran’s wife, Shauna Moore, in an interview this month. “The community has been so wonderful to us and the St. Brendan’s community and school. There are so many others as well. We want to express our gratitude in so many ways. Each effort for us has not gone unnoticed and we can never thank everyone enough for how they’ve rallied to support us in this time.”

The climax of that support will unfold this Sunday (Oct. 2) as friends, family and acquaintances gather at Florian Hall from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. for a fundraiser to support the Moores with a substantial purse to help them with day-to-day expenses. Declan Cronin has led the effort, with key help from Kerrie Tobin, Jan McCarthy, Angie Dowling, Mary McDermott, Jamesie O’Donohue, Dan O’Connor, Fran Keenan, and Dermot Fox.

“It’s such a sad story and the outpouring of goodwill from everyone in the community was an inspiration to our committee,” Cronin said. “Even people who were helping quietly behind the scenes were amazing. Ciaran was a good friend to everyone and supported anyone in need. He was always there for others, and if this were any one of us, he would be there. We felt it important to be there for him and his family at this moment.”

The Moores are both from Ireland. Shauna, 42, from County Antrim and Ciaran, 43, from County Laois. They came to Boston separately and met here in the United States more than two decades ago. They settled in Lower Mills and now have three children: Eve, 13, a student at Archbishop Williams in Braintree, and Emme, 9, and Micheal, 6, both at the St. Brendan’s School in Dorchester.

On the night of Dec. 26, they had been out to dinner with company. Later in the night, a Quincy man allegedly hit Ciaran as he was headed to the bathroom at the Post. The incident prompted an April hearing before the city’s Licensing Board, which found that the bar itself bore no responsibility for the attack. Ciaran and his family are left with far more pieces to pick up following that shocking night while the alleged assailant, Ryan McEleney-Lynch, faces charges of aggravated assault with the case is still pending.

“That night they brought me to the hospital I thought he had hurt his head and bumped it a bit,” she said. “I thought he was only unconscious. Then the police brought me to the Homicide Unit, and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, this is more serious than I expected.’”

Ciaran was taken to Boston Medical Center (BMC) and was in and out of the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) from Dec. 27 to Feb. 24, when he had brain surgery. He later went under the knife for injuries connected to the attack.

“He has made good progress,” said Shauna. “Unfortunately, it’s not linear progress with traumatic brain injuries…There’s been a lot of ups and downs. You’re not always going upwards. There are lots of setbacks. Whoever said, ‘two steps forward and one step back’ was definitely talking about brain injuries.”

After BMC, Ciaran was transferred to Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital in Charlestown for continuing therapy while friends and family – and sometimes strangers – showed up in Lower Mills to renovate their home. The result: a new yard, a wheelchair ramp, an extension onto the home that includes a full bathroom that’s wheelchair accessible, and many other tweaks to make the home more comfortable for Ciaran’s return.

“Every single thing was taken care of,” Shauna said. “It was just a constant stream of carpenters and local companies sending people over on Saturdays or whenever they had free time. They got it up in record time because he was going to be returning from Spaulding.

Ciaran came home on June 14 and has been reporting to Spaulding a few times a week for continued treatment. His eyesight, short-term memory, and left hand are still on the mend, and he is using a wheelchair. He still needs someone to monitor him at all times.

With three kids in school and new responsibilities on her plate, Shauna said they were worried about the return to school – dropping off the kids and picking them up seemed impossible. Families like the nearby Porter family have stepped up with others to transport the kids to and from Archbishop Williams and St. Brendan’s School.

“We’ve been there for years, and the families and children really have been beyond wonderful,” she said. “The summer wasn’t as busy, but I was a little nervous about school runs. Everyone in the community has pulled together for us.”

The same can be said of Mother Olga of the Sisters of Nazarene in Quincy, who specialize in supporting families going through massive changes in their lives. Being able to attend small-scale Masses there with Mother Olga and the children has been a backbone of support spiritually, Shauna said.

Additionally, Shauna said, she cannot forget the folks at the 12 Bens Tavern on Adams Street in Fields Corner, where Ciaran used to gather regularly before the assault. She described their support as being both welcome and generous.

For all that, however, the fundraiser on Oct. 2 is the big news, though Shauna said the family was a little bit bashful at the idea initially. Because Ciaran won’t be working any time soon, Cronin and the fundraising committee insisted that this fall would be a good time to host a benefit.

The generosity has flowed with prizes like a British Open golf champ Shane Lowry’s signed shirt and photo, a hurling stick from Limerick, a 1994 World Cup Ireland special soccer jersey – as well as gift baskets, restaurant gift cards, and a whole lot more. There is also a $10,000 cash prize, with tickets being sold ahead of the benefit.

“They have a lot of excellent prizes and people came to us with prizes,” said Shauna. “In some cases, we didn’t have to really go looking at all.”

Those who would like to donate by check to the fund can send checks payable to The Moore Family Benefit c/o Rockland Trust; 2250 Dorchester Ave.; Dorchester, MA 02124.


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