Rugby player loses sight in alleged eye-gouging
A RUGBY player has lost the sight in his right eye after an alleged gouging incident at the end of a game.
Eoin Collins (32), a former captain of the Leinster junior interprovincial side, was playing for Boyne RFC against Highfield from Cork when the incident occurred.
A Highfield player has been cited for allegedly eye-gouging Mr Collins and the matter will be investigated by an IRFU disciplinary hearing later this month.
Mr Collins said: "Apart from being able to see a small bit of shadow, I have no vision in my right eye and I honestly do not know what the future holds."
He had just started work as a sales rep for Spring Grove textile services at the time of the incident on December 12 last, but is now unable to drive.
He said: "It happened in a maul at the very end of the game. I knew it was bad because my vision went black. There was bleeding and the pain was horrific. It was very upsetting at the time but it really sunk in over Christmas when I was looking forwards to spending time with friends and family and just couldn't enjoy it and that made me feel angry."
The player, who also recently won a Meath league Division 5 medal with St Vincents, said his "primary concern is to get sight back in the eye so I can have some quality of life".
On the day of the incident, he was rushed to the Mater Hospital in Dublin and surgeons operated on his ruptured eye socket.
IRFU spokesman Karl Richardson said: "Our disciplinary panel meets regularly during the season to deal with dismissals and citings."
Highfield secretary Fergus O'Mahony said his club had forwarded a copy of a DVD of the match.