Northern Ireland news

Catholic man 'left for dead' in Kilkeel to have extensive surgery

Father-of-two Paschal Morgan and his wife Rachel

A Catholic man targeted in a brutal sectarian assault is to have extensive surgery today.

Father-of-two Paschal Morgan (48) has been moved from the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald following the attack in Kilkeel, Co Down on Sunday night.

His wife Rachel (43) said her husband had suffered bruising to the front of his brain, shattered eye sockets and cheekbones, extensive cuts to his head and a possible broken jaw.

It is unclear at this stage whether he will have to have several surgeries at the Ulster Hospital.

His family believe he was targeted because he is from a well-known Catholic family in the town.

Mrs Morgan told The Irish News on Monday that her husband, a building contractor, had been "left for dead" in the attack.

He was assaulted shortly after he left a hotel close to his home late on Sunday.

A 34-year-old man was later arrested about the assault. He was released on bail on Monday pending further enquiries.

Police are treating the attack as a sectarian hate crime.

It has drawn condemnation from across the political divide, with SDLP South Down MLA Sinead Bradley, Sinn Féin MP Chris Hazzard and Ulster Unionist MLA Doug Beattie among those expressing their outrage at the assault.

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