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Down GAA player in stable condition following serious assault in Newry

Daisy Hill Hospital in Newry

A prominent GAA player is in a stable condition in hospital following a serious assault in Newry.

Down’s Caolan Mooney suffered head injuries in the attack during the early hours of Monday morning – just hours after beginning the new season with his county side.

The 26-year-old was part of that team which defeated Fermanagh in Sunday’s McKenna Cup opener.

An ambulance was called to the city centre around 2.30am.

The PSNI said two men, aged 26 and 32 had been assaulted.

Mr Mooney was taken to Daisy Hill hospital and later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital.

A 37-year-old man has been charged with affray and grievous bodily harm with intent.

He is due at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

Down manager Paddy Tally said the team was “shocked and saddened” by the incident.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: “Given the seriousness of the situation, we ask people to refrain from speculation or rumour about the incident.

“Caolan is a very important player and important leader in our team. He is vice-captain, he had an excellent year this year and we’re looking forward to him being back playing in Down colours as soon as possible.

“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.”

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