Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 22 July 2014

Labour senator fighting for life

Senator Jimmy Harte, left, is fighting for his life after a fall

Popular Senator Jimmy Harte continues to fight for his life after a freak fall left him with serious head injuries.

The Donegal politician remains in a critical condition - although stable - following surgery yesterday at Beaumont Hospital.

A Labour Party spokesman said the father-of-four's family have been comforted by the widespread concern for him.

"The family have been very heartened by the support they have received from right across the political spectrum," he said.

"It has given them some comfort during this very worrying time.

"Jimmy is getting the best treatment he can get at Beaumont Hospital and everybody is hoping he makes a recovery."

Mr Harte, 55, from Letterkenny in Co Donegal, was found collapsed on the street at Newmarket Square in Dublin's south inner city at around 3am on Saturday morning.

He was taken to Beaumont Hospital - which specialises in head injuries - where he is under constant watch in the intensive care unit.

There has been no major change in his condition during today.

Gardai have viewed CCTV footage and interviewed witnesses who were in the area of Newmarket Square at the time.

They are satisfied the injuries were sustained as a result of an accidental fall rather than any assault.

Following the inquiries, the Harte family also believe the life-threatening injuries were accidental and happened when he struck his head during a fall.

"It appears to have been accidental and nothing more sinister," the Labour spokesman said.

Detectives at Kevin Street Garda station had been making inquiries to find out what happened to the Donegal politician.

The insurance broker had been attending the Republic of Ireland v Latvia football international friendly at the Aviva stadium in Ballsbridge, south Dublin, earlier in the evening.

Labour leader Eamon Gilmore is among many party colleagues who have been in touch with the Harte family to pass on their best wishes and who are keeping a close eye on his condition.

Mr Harte, who runs his own insurance brokerage, is from a well-known Donegal family who have been involved in politics for generations.

He is also known as a keen sportsman, who has run 12 marathons in recent years and raised more than 30,000 euro (£25,000) for charities.

A former chairman of Finn Harps FC, Mr Harte played inter-county soccer and GAA in his younger years.

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