NEWS — 03 April 2013

Ryanair’s O’Leary’s kindness to injured jockey


J T McNamara in action at Cheltenham in March after winning the Diamond Jubilee National Hunt Steeple Chase


Sean Moriarty


Ryanair boss and racehorse owner Michael O’Leary this week launched a fund for injured jockey J T McNamara who was paralysed after an accident at Cheltenham last month.

Mr. O’Leary had put up the €200,000 prize money for The Racing Post Champion Point to Point Flat Race at Fairyhouse on Easter Monday but when his own horse won the race he gave the money to start up a welfare fund for McNamara and his family.

Mr. McNamara is to be moved to hospital in Ireland in the near future.

He was seriously injured when he fell from Galaxy Rock in the Fulke Walwyn Kim Muir Challenge Cup at  Cheltenham last month.

A statement issued by Dr Adrian McGoldrick, Irish Turf Club Senior Medical Officer and Lisa Hancock, CEO, Injured Jockeys Fund on behalf of the McNamara Family, said:

“JT McNamara remains in the Frenchay Hospital, Bristol.  While he suffered a serious neck injury resulting in paralysis, he has made progress in the last week and is in a very positive frame of mind.  He is greatly appreciative of the many messages, cards and letters received and also wishes to thank the Frenchay Hospital who are looking after him so well.”

The 37-year-old father of two was found to have two fractured vertebrae in his back following the fall. He was in an induced coma but did not suffer any brain injuries.

Dr McGoldrick said earlier: “In due course JT will be transferred to the National Spinal Unit at The Mater Hospital, Dublin where he will be closer to his family.

“His wife Caroline and family very much appreciate everyone’s continued good wishes and prayers on JT’s behalf.”



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Editor of the Irish World

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