herald

Thursday 19 April 2018

GAA player in coma after attack leaves him with fractured skull

Laois player Daniel O’Reilly is said to be in a serious condition. Photo: SPORTSFILE
Laois player Daniel O’Reilly is said to be in a serious condition. Photo: SPORTSFILE

A GAA player is in an induced coma after suffering serious head injuries in a violent assault on Monday night.

Daniel O'Reilly, a Laois inter county player, was attacked at a taxi rank in the Potato Market area in Carlow following a night out at about 1am.

The 22-year-old suffered multiple fractures to his skull and was taken to St Luke's Hospital.

His condition is described as serious.

"He's been put in an induced coma," a source told the Herald.

"He has two skull fractures and a number of bleeds to the brain.

"Daniel's condition has slightly improved since he was first brought in, but he's still very ill.

"The family are naturally very concerned about him. We just hope he's out of danger."

The Herald understands the father-of-one was randomly attacked, fell and hit his head on the pavement as he was getting a taxi.

No arrests have been made, but gardai are following a "definite line of enquiry" into the incident.

CCTV footage in the town is also aiding gardai in their investigation.

Winning

O'Reilly's team had been in high spirits since winning the Division 4 League final in Croke on Saturday.

The Graiguecullen native went on as the first substitute, helping to secure their 0-15 to 0-10 win against Carlow.

However, their victory has been overshadowed by Monday night's attack.

"Everyone was in great form, then bang! This happened," said Cllr Paschal McEvoy.

Mr McEvoy, who is part of the Laois GAA County Board, told the Herald what happened to the young footballer was "absolutely horrendous".

"There's no excuse for what happened whatsoever, it's terribly upsetting," he said.

"Daniel is an extremely good footballer and a lovely young lad.

"He comes from a highly respected family in Graiguecullen and was doing very well for himself.

"We're all praying that he makes a full recovery," he said.

Justice Minister Charlie Flanagan took to Twitter, urging anyone with information to come forward.

"Wishing all the best to Daniel O'Reilly and his family at this time of challenge," the minister tweeted.

"Anybody with any information on this incident should let Carlow gardai know.

"Perpetrators must be brought to justice."

Laois GAA said that the matter was under garda investigation and it would not be issuing a statement.

Recovery

However, club public relations officer Pat O'Sullivan extended his thoughts to O'Reilly and his family.

"We all hope that Daniel makes a full recovery and we're trying to help out in whatever way we can," he said.

Gardai are appealing for any witnesses or anyone with information to come forward and contact Carlow Garda Station on 059-9136620 or to contact the Garda Confidential Line on 1800 666 111.

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