Thursday 18 January 2018

'My son's leg was broken in two places when GAA player stamped on him'

Conor Hayes in Hospital in Drogheda
Conor Hayes in Hospital in Drogheda

A young GAA player is in hospital after his leg was broken in two places by a "vicious" assault during a GAA match.

Conor Cribben-Hayes (17) was allegedly stamped on repeatedly by a rival player in a 12-person melee during a match.

Conor's father, William Hayes, said when the fight broke out, his son tried pulling someone away and ended up on the ground. He was then held down by two players and stamped on by another.

"When Conor went on the ground, I was telling him to get up and get out of there," he said.

"I went to jump the fence and by the time I got over there, the fella had jumped on him at least five or six times," he added.

Conor Hayes in his hospital bed
Conor Hayes in his hospital bed

It is understood a brawl involving 12 players broke out during a game between Conor's team, Clann na nGael, and Kells club Gael Colmcille.

Gardai are investigating the incident, which took place at around 5.20pm on Saturday in the Gaeltacht area of Rathcairn. Paramedics treated the teen - from Kildalkey, Co Meath -shortly afterwards.

He was then stretchered off the grounds and brought to the home of a nearby neighbour.

An ambulance later took him to Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda.


His father, William, who called gardai after the incident, described the damage done as "viscious and sickening".

"He's got two broken bones in his right leg. To do that sort of damage is a motorbike accident, a horse landing on top of you or falling off a roof," Mr Hayes said.

"As a parent it was the most vicious and sickening thing I've ever seen in my life in sport," he added.

According to Mr Hayes, his son was in so much pain on Tuesday morning that he could not be transported to the Santry Sports Clinic for specialist treatment.

His leg is now covered in a plaster cast that reaches from the bottom of his foot to the top of his thigh.

The talented rugby and GAA player had aspirations of winning a sports scholarship in college next year, dreams which have now been shattered.

His parents are now just hoping he recovers from his injuries.

Meath County Board said it would not comment on the issue, but said a full investigation was being conducted by the Competitions Control Committee.

A spokesman for Conor's club, Clann na nGael - an amalgamation between Athboy and Rathcairn - said the club was investigating the incident and would support any other investigation.


"Everyone in the club is very disappointed that this has happened to such a talented young player and we will be giving our full support to him and his family," he said.

Gael Colmcille were also contacted by the Herald, but did not wish to comment.

It is understood they have contacted Clann na nGael and offered their best wishes to Conor.

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