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We are just living hour by hour, says dad of GAA star

Ronan Clarke suffered a serious head injury while playing for Pearse Og against Maghery in the Armagh club championship on Saturday
Ronan Clarke suffered a serious head injury while playing for Pearse Og against Maghery in the Armagh club championship on Saturday

Declan Bogue

The father of injured GAA footballer Ronan Clarke has spoken of how his family are "living hour by hour" as he remains in intensive care.

Adrian Clarke said the 32-year-old was making gradual progress in hospital following his collision with a goalpost during a club match on Saturday.

"He had a good night. We are quite happy to date with his progress, and as far as we can ascertain at the present time he is making gradual progress," said Mr Clarke, a former Carrickmore GAA club team manager.

"With this situation it is going to take time, but the signs are good. We are happy in that respect. If you were to put a time frame on it, we just don't know. It's day by day, hour by hour."

The former Armagh player, who was on the 2002 All-Ireland winning side, suffered a serious head injury while playing for Pearse Og against Maghery in the Armagh club championship on Saturday.

Read more: Former Armagh star Ronan Clarke in intensive care following serious head injury in club match

He collided with a goalpost at speed during the game and was rushed to intensive care at Craigavon Area Hospital where he remains in a serious but stable condition.

"The ball was coming into the square and he was watching the ball and went into the post," said his father.

He was put into an induced coma in hospital.

"When I was bringing him to hospital he was lapsing in and out of consciousness and I was talking to him to keep him awake," said Mr Clarke.

"When we got to the hospital they took over completely and carried out their task professionally, did what they had to do and, thankfully, it has proven the correct course of action, no doubt about it."

Ronan was treated on the pitch and wanted to continue to play the remaining five minutes of the match.

"He had no intention of leaving the field. It was only about five minutes left in the game, but he wanted to continue and he said he was all right," said Mr Clarke.

"Even afterwards in the course of conversation with the paramedics after the game, he said he was all right."

Irish Independent

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