Northern Ireland

Man (24) arrested as Co Down GAA club member remains in coma after assault

The Clonduff GAC player is in an induced coma in hospital

Eamon (left centre) and Charlie Brown (right centre) with their their parents Aidan and Attracta after Ulster University's Sigerson Cup victory in February

A Co Down GAA club that has faced tragedy in recent weeks is urging the public to pray for one of its players after he was seriously assaulted last weekend.

Clonduff GAC player Charlie Brown is in an induced coma in intensive care at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital after being assaulted in Rostrevor last Sunday night.

The PSNI has now confirmed they have arrested a man following the incident.

Detective Inspector Johnston said on Friday: “We received a report that a man, aged in his 20s, had received serious head injuries after he fell to the ground following an altercation at a licensed premises in the Bridge Street area.

“The man was taken to hospital for treatment to his injuries, where he remains. His condition has been described as critical but stable at this time.”

“A 24-year-old man was later arrested on suspicion of grievous bodily harm with intent. He has since been released on police bail to allow for further police enquiries.”

The police have called for any witnesses to the altercation, or with other relevant information, to call 101 quoting reference 1599 for March 31.

The injured party and his brother Eamon, both nephews of Down All-Ireland winner Mickey Linden, were part of the Ulster University side that won the Sigerson Cup in February.

The assault happened just a week after Clonduff lost another player, Lorcán Branagan, in a tragic accident in Australia.

Clonduff GAC dual player Lorcán Branagan (26) from Hilltown, Co Down, passed away in Sydney over the weekend.
Clonduff GAC dual player Lorcán Branagan (26) from Hilltown, Co Down, passed away in Sydney over the weekend. PICTURE: CLONDUFF GAC

In a post on social media, the Hilltown club called for prayers for the injured player.

In a Facebook post, the club said: “Please pray for our senior footballer Charlie Brown, who is currently in intensive care.

“We are keeping Charlie, the Brown & Linden Families, his team mates & friends in our prayers at this very worrying time.

“Wishing Charlie a full & speedy recovery - you’ve got this Charlie.”

Ulster University GAA also urged people to pray for their teammate, whose parents Aidan and Attracta are understood to be at his bedside.

“Ulster University GAA is asking for your thoughts and prayers for Charlie Brown and for all his family at this very worrying time. Charlie remains in intensive care in an induced coma after an assault. We pray that Charlie makes a full and speedy recovery,” a statement said

The Clonduff club was plunged into grief last month after Lorcán Branagan died in a tragic accident in Sydney, Australia.

His former school, St Mark’s in Warrenpoint, launched a fundraiser for the Kevin Bell Repatriation Trust in his memory.

It was the second tragedy for his family after the death of his brother Peárce Branagan (23) from Cardiomyopathy in June 2018.