Tragedy strikes GAA star Alisha Jordan as father dies two years after brutal New York attack
Gaelic footballer Alisha Jordan has once again been hit by tragedy.
The 22-year-old from Meath, who will play in the All-Ireland Ladies Junior Football Championship final on Sunday in Croke Park, has revealed her father tragically passed away in June.
Ms Jordan heroically spoke about her brutal attack two years ago in her adopted home of New York when she was walking home with a friend in the early hours of July 14, 2012 when she was set upon with a brick.
The assault was so severe that the brick was smashed into pieces; Jordan was also left with two broken cheekbones, a broken nose and fractures to both orbital bones. A damaged nerve also meant that Jordan lost her sight for two weeks and almost all of her teeth were broken.
And speaking ahead of her performance in Croker this weekend, she told Ryan Tubridy on his RTE 2FM show that she returned to Ireland in June in order to say one final goodbye to her father, a moment she tragically missed.
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"I'm just back in Ireland for a few months, I go back to New York in a few weeks," she told the broadcaster. "Unfortunately, my father passed away in June.
"He died suddenly," she explained. "He wasn't feeling well one morning, so my sister brought him into hospital and his organs failed from there. I jumped on the first flight home and I tried to make it home in time. I had just landed in Dublin airport when I got the phone call that he passed away."
Jordan says his passing thew her back into a dark place.
"It threw me right back into the whole situation again," she said. "I went through the 'why me?' stage, as I did when I was attacked. This was different - when I was attacked, I could deal with it myself. It's something that happened to me. I could take on whatever was wrong
"With this, you have to rely on your family and friends to help you through it."
And the GAA star said that she knows her father will be watching her New York team take on Wexford on Sunday.
"My dad was a huge fan of football, so I know he'll be there on Sunday in Croke Park," she added. "We've trained so hard all year. They've been my crutch and my support system. It's an added incentive for us to go ahead."