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Armagh GAA star’s jaw rebuilt after assault on pitch

A teenage GAA star has undergone surgery to his jaw after a horrific attack during an Armagh league club game.

Kevin Nugent, who was in the winning Armagh Minor All-Ireland team, was knocked unconscious at the end of a match at Maghery on Sunday.

The 19-year-old Maghery player was rushed to Craigavon Area Hospital after the Division One game against Cullaville.

Armagh’s disciplinary authority, the CCC (County Competition Control) is set to launch an investigation into the incident. Following GAA procedures, the committee, chaired by Paul McArdle, will seek to establish the facts surrounding the attack.

Maghery GAA chairman John Robinson described it as “a totally unprovoked attack”.

The first year business studies student at the Jordanstown campus of the University of Ulster was transferred to the Ulster Hospital in Dundonald where he underwent surgery to his jaw on Tuesday.

The teenager’s family were watching the match when the horrific incident happened.

One family member, who did not wish to be named, said: “It was awful. He was losing a lot of blood and at the time we didn’t know what his injuries were. He has never had any injuries at all before in football other than bumps or bruises, so it has been a big shock.”

His chin bone and the top of his jaw were broken and all his lower teeth were displaced. Surgeons at the Ulster Hospital inserted two plates into his lower jaw and his lower teeth have been wired into his gum.

“He’s very sore and feeling weak but he’ll be okay. We have to treat him like a baby at this stage and give him fluids through a straw and a syringe,” the relative said.

The Nugent family have not filed a complaint to police about the incident. “We haven’t pursued anything. We are just focused on getting him through this.”

It’s not known how Kevin feels about playing again. “I would say it will be a bit scary for him now until he gets his confidence back, but we haven’t mentioned that yet,” the family member said.

Kevin was discharged from hospital yesterday.

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