Saturday 25 February 2017

Man arrested over attack on GAA player that put him in coma

Independent.ie reporters

Mark McGovern
Mark McGovern

Police in San Francisco have arrested a man in connection with the vicious attack on a young Fermanagh GAA player that put him in a coma.

Mark McGovern (22) was struck by a rival player during a match in San Francisco on June 25.



Sources told KTVU that Patrick Power, a member of the Celtics Gaelic football team, was arrested in relation to the incident at a tournament on Treasure Island.



As a result of the assault Mark McGovern (22) suffered a severe head injury and ended up in a coma. He only regained consciousness at the beginning of August.



Investigators say the ball in play was nowhere near McGovern when someone hit him so hard he was knocked unconscious and had to be taken to the hospital.



Police say the suspect Power, (26), was seen standing over an unconscious McGovern. Later, Power allegedly yelled a vulgar word at the fallen player and said, “He won’t get up from that.”



The attack prompted an investigation by both the San Francisco GAA and San Francisco police department.



The McGovern family travelled to San Francisco and spent months at their son’s bedside while he fought for his life.



Mark's sisters Grace (25), Helen (28), and Connie (30) along with his parents Danny and Josie and his girlfriend of three years, Jessica Turley (21), all helped to bring him back to consciousness.



His sister Grace said his recuperation at the Laguna Honda Rehabilitation Centre is going well.



"He is flying in comparison to what he was. He is walking by himself and talking although his voice is like someone with a sore throat," said Grace,



"He is fully aware of what happened and that he was in a coma. At the start he asked one of his friends (what happened) and he just said it was a tackle but he is now being more inquisitive and he knows it was an attack."



Medical bills for Mark, who was just in San Francisco for the summer, are running in excess of $1 million. The Irish community in San Francisco have already begun fundraising efforts.



A special collection is to take place at the All_Ireland football final at Croke Park this Sunday by members of Mark's home club of Belcoo.

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