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GAA star Ronan Clarke: I'm completely overwhelmed by good wishes and prayers

By Declan Whooley

Published 24/08/2015

Ronan Clarke in action for Armagh
Ronan Clarke in action for Armagh

GAA star Ronan Clarke says he is "overwhelmed" by the outpouring of support received after he was left in a coma following a match.

The former Armagh player, who was on the 2002 All-Ireland winning side, suffered a serious head injury while playing for Pearse Og against Maghery in the Armagh club championship last weekend.

He collided with a goalpost at speed during the game and was rushed to intensive care at Craigavon Area Hospital.

Yesterday Clarke posted a message on his Facebook page thanking the many people who have helped him during a difficult week, not least the medical personnel who have attended to him since the accident.

He also said that he had now returned home and was on the road to recovery.

"I would like to thank the many people who sent cards, Mass bouquets and offered prayers for my recovery," he wrote yesterday afternoon. "I also wish to thank Fr McAnenley, Fr Coyle and Fr Lennon SJ for their visits and blessings and to all those who brought religious relics.

"I am completely overwhelmed and heartened by the volume of good wishes on social media from all sections of the community and the concern and sensitivity shown by the Press and television. I have nothing but the highest praise for the excellent treatment I received in Craigavon Area Hospital from the consultants, doctors, nurses and ancillary staff.

"I will always be in their debt. I am now delighted to be at home to begin my convalescence."

Clarke's father Adrian described earlier the moment where his son was injured and the thorough treatment he received.

"The ball was coming into the square and he was watching the ball and went into the post," he said. "When I was bringing him to hospital he was lapsing in and out of consciousness and I was talking to him to keep him awake.

"When we got to the hospital they took over completely and carried out their task professionally, did what they had to do and, thankfully, it has proven the correct course of action, no doubt about it."

Ronan was treated on the pitch and wanted to continue to play the remaining five minutes of the match.

"He had no intention of leaving the field. It was only about five minutes left in the game, but he wanted to continue and he said he was all right," said Mr Clarke.

"Even afterwards in the course of conversation with the paramedics after the game, he said he was all right."

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