Footballer fights for his life after freak accident
A FOOTBALLER was battling for his life last night after being seriously injured in a freak accident during a game.
Philip McGuinness (26), who has been a member of the senior Leitrim panel for the last seven years, is in critical condition at Beaumont Hospital in Dublin after sustaining a severe head injury on Saturday.
A skilful forward, Mr McGuinness was playing for his home club, Mohill, against Melvin Gaels in a league match at Annaduff when the incident happened.
Spectators said Mr McGuinness was in possession of the ball five minutes before half-time and was preparing to go by another player when the accident happened.
Mr McGuinness fell towards the other player and collided with his knee. "It was an absolutely freak accident," one spectator said. "Nobody is attaching any blame to the other player."
When it became obvious that the player was not recovering consciousness the game was abandoned and an ambulance was called.
He was attended to on the pitch and immediately rushed to Sligo General Hospital when the ambulance arrived. But his condition rapidly deteriorated and the decision was taken to transfer him to Beaumont Hospital. Yesterday the hospital described the young player as "critically ill".
In a statement, the Leitrim GAA County Board said that the player and his family were uppermost in everyone's thoughts.
"Due to an injury sustained in a match yesterday, Philip McGuinness remains critically ill. Our thoughts and prayers are with him and his family at this difficult time," the statement said.
A mechanical engineer working in Mayo, he comes from a family which is steeped in the GAA. His older brothers John and Michael have also played for their county and were playing alongside Philip when he was injured on Saturday. His late father, Michael, also played for the county.