Northern Ireland news

Prayers for Tyrone All-Ireland winning footballer Mickey Coleman who is 'critically ill' in the US

Mickey Coleman who is critically ill in hospital in New York
Marie Louise McConville

PRAYERS were being offered in Tyrone last night for one of the county's All-Ireland winning footballers who is "critically ill" in the US.

Mickey Coleman (41), who won two senior All-Ireland medals in 2003 and 2005, is being treated in hospital in New York after suffering a massive heart attack.

The married father-of-two, who is originally from Ardboe but moved to the US when he was in his 20s, is also a well-known singer, songwriter and musician, both at home and in New York where he is a regular name on the gig circuit.

Having penned a number of songs over the years, his most famous is The Brantry Boy, which was a tribute to former team mate Cormac McAnallen, who died suddenly in 2004.

His other songs include My Coalisland Girl, The Holylands Belfast and Fishermen's Lament (Old Arboe).

As president of Shoreline Builders, Mr Coleman is also heavily involved in coaching GAA in New York and is a prominent member of Club Tyrone in the city.

The businessman made regular visits back home and he and his wife Erin have just finished renovating a property, Crock Road Cottage, on the shore of Lough Neagh in Co Tyrone, which is now available as an Airbnb.

Mickey Coleman in action for Tyrone

Malachy Ó Néill, Chairman of Ardboe O’Donovan Rossa GAC, said the club had received the "desperately sad news from New York" yesterday morning.

"Michael Coleman is held in the highest regard by everyone associated with the club, not simply for his prowess on the field of play but also as a larger than life character, a superb musician, successful businessman and loyal club sponsor," he said.

"While he’s spent much of his adult life in the States, he’s continued to champion and support Gaelic games both in his native parish and in his adopted home.

"Most importantly, Mickey is a proud family man and our thoughts and prayers are with him and the huge Coleman family circle both at home and abroad at this difficult time."

Sinn Féin assembly member Maolíosa McHugh said his "thoughts" were with Mr Coleman.

"Mickey is a great Tyrone gael and Irish musician who kept many of us entertained throughout lockdown with his sessions.

"I wish him every strength in his current battle and a speedy recovery. Thinking of his wife Erin and his family."

Mickey Coleman in action for Tyrone

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