By Damian Dolan
Gaels and Down Gaelic footballer Caolan Mooney has been released from hospital following the attack he was the victim of in Newry in the early hours of 30 December.
Mooney was initially taken to the nearby Daisy Hill Hospital, but later transferred to the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast with a bleed on his brain.
On Tuesday (7 January) he tweeted: “Finally out of the hospital. My skull is fractured but glad to be getting home to let it recover now”.
The day before Mooney updated his followers from his hospital bed that he was “feeling a lot better now”.
Finally out of the hospital 🤙🏻 my skull is fractured but glad to be getting home to let it recover now 💪🏻💪🏻 pic.twitter.com/uVOQftWI2P
— caolan mooney (@caolanmooney) January 7, 2020
On New Year’s Eve, Mooney had tweeted a photo of his injuries along with a thank you message.
It read: “Thanks everyone for their messages, scan in the morning to see if my brain has stopped bleeding. But happy new year everyone.”
A mobile police patrol came upon the scene in the Merchant’s Quay area of Newry at 02:30 GMT on 30 December.
Hours earlier, Mooney had featured for Down in their Dr McKenna Cup Round 1 win over Fermanagh.
Last year, Mooney lined out for Neasden Gaels in the London senior football championship and helped the club reach the semi-finals.
Thanks everyone for their messages, scan in the morning to see if my brain has stopped bleeding. But happy new year everyone 🙌🏻🙌🏻 pic.twitter.com/6CwkcHvuAh
— caolan mooney (@caolanmooney) December 31, 2019
Down manager Paddy Tally said he was “looking forward” to seeing Mooney “back playing in Down colours as soon as possible”.
“He is vice-captain, he had an excellent year this year,” he said.
“Given the seriousness of the situation, we ask people to refrain from speculation or rumour about the incident. Caolan is a very important player and important leader in our team.”
“We hope and pray that he makes a full recovery and our thoughts are with his fiancée and his entire family at this time. Their welfare and their right to privacy should be fully respected.”
Two men have been arrested and charged over the incident.