Down footballer Caolan Mooney hospitalised after alleged assault in Newry
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Down footballer Caolan Mooney hospitalised after alleged assault in Newry

A man has been charged by police in Northern Ireland with attempted grievous bodily harm after Down footballer Caolan Mooney received head injuries in Newry yesterday.

The incident occurred in the Merchant’s Quay area of Newry in the early hours of Monday morning.

Mooney, who plays Gaelic football for Down GAA, was taken to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital amid fears of a possible bleed to the brain, the Irish News reports.

Another man, aged in his 30s, was also injured during the incident.

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A PSNI spokesperson said: “Detectives investigating an assault on two men aged 26 and 32 in the Merchant’s Quay area of Newry in the early hours of yesterday morning, Monday, December 30 have charged a 37-year-old man with affray and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent.

“He is due to appear at Armagh Magistrates’ Court this morning, Tuesday, 31 December. As is normal procedure all charges will be reviewed by the PPS.

“Detectives are appealing to anyone who witnessed the assault which we believed occurred shortly before 2.30am to contact detectives at Ardmore on the non-emergency number 101, quoting reference 177 31/12/19.”

The footballer had been playing for Down against Fermanagh in the McKenna Cup the day before he received his injuries.

Shocked

Down manager Paddy Tally said: “We’re shocked and saddened that Caolan has been hospitalised, and we understand that a criminal investigation is under way.

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“Given the seriousness of the situation, we ask people to refrain from speculation or rumour about the incident.

“We hope and pray that he makes a full recovery and our thoughts are with his fiancée and his entire family at this time. Their welfare and their right to privacy should be fully respected.”

Mooney spent three years playing for AFL side Collingwood in Melbourne and turned out for Neasden Gaels in the London SFC championship last year.