Monday 24 April 2017

Man arrested over hit-and-run that left GAA star Conall McCavitt fighting for his life

Victim: Conall McCavitt
Victim: Conall McCavitt

Brett Campbell

A former world handball champion described as one of the sport's "brightest stars" remained seriously ill in hospital last night following a hit-and-run in Crossmaglen on Tuesday.

Conall McCavitt, who is in his 20s, was described as a "gentleman" with "a very bright future" as a 20-year-old man was arrested on suspicion of motoring offences before being freed on bail pending further inquiries.

Mr McCavitt was struck by a car in Cardinal O'Fiaich Square at around 6.20am on Tuesday. The vehicle did not stop but was later recovered by police in the market area of the village.

John Kelly, the national manager of GAA Handball, said the news of the incident had left the sport devastated.

"The GAA handball community was shocked to hear the news concerning one of our brightest young stars, Conall McCavitt, and our immediate thoughts at this time are with Conall and his family," he added.

"Conall is one of the up-and-coming stars in handball. As a former World Champion in 2012 at 17 and under level, and having represented Ireland in 2012 and 2013 at the World Games in Holland and Colombia, he has a very bright future in the game.

"While he is a fierce competitor on the court, off the court Conall is a gentleman who is always available to help out, and is a very popular figure in the handball community.

"Our thoughts and prayers for a full recovery and those of the wider association both in Ireland and abroad are with Conall and his family at this time."

Armagh GAA made an appeal on Facebook urging people to keep "one of our greatest GAA handballers" in their thoughts and prayers as he "faces his toughest battle".

Mr McCavitt's local GAA club, St Patrick's GFC Cullyhanna, also asked the local community to think of the young man.

A spokesman wrote online: "Our entire club and community is wishing one of our brightest young stars, Conall McCavitt, all the best in the days ahead.

"Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers."

The PSNI appealed for anyone who witnessed the collision, or anyone with any information about the movements of the offending car or its occupants following the hit-and-run, to contact officers at Newry police station on the non-emergency 101 number.

Belfast Telegraph

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