Northern Ireland

Prayers offered for SDLP councillor in intensive care with suspected meningitis

Erne East councillor Garbhan McPhillips took ill at the weekend

SDLP councillor for Erne East Garbhan McPhillips said the closure was an "absolute disaster" for the community
SDLP councillor for Erne East, Garbhan McPhillips, took ill last weekend and is in hospital in Enniskillen.

Prayers have been offered for an SDLP councillor who is on a ventilator in hospital after contracting what is thought to be meningitis.

Garbhan McPhillips, who represents the Erne East area on Fermanagh and Omagh District Council, took ill at the weekend and was taken to the South West Acute Hospital in Enniskillen.

The father-of-two, who became a councillor in 2016, is on a ventilator in the hospital’s intensive care unit.

It was reported that he had just returned from a family trip to Donegal when he began feeling unwell.

He was taken to hospital when his condition worsened.

His father Richie McPhillips, a former Fermanagh and South Tyrone, told the Impartial Reporter newspaper that his son being helped to breathe with a ventilator “is not the ideal situation for us, but it is the ideal situation for him because it is now giving his body the ideal situation to recover”.

He also praised hospital staff for going “beyond the call of duty”.

West Tyrone SDLP MLA Daniel McCrossan said in a social media post on Tuesday: “We are all thinking on our SDLP Colleague, Fermanagh and Omagh District Councillor Garbhan McPhillips who is quite unwell in hospital.

“Garbhan and his family are in our prayers and the prayers of the community.”

Mr McPhillips is a former player with Maguiresbridge St Mary’s GAA club, and a spokesperson said the “entire club extends our thoughts and prayers” to him, adding: “We all pray that he makes a speedy recovery.”