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Michael O'Neill's dad in heart drama: Rail worker tells of giving CPR

By Allan Preston

The father of Northern Ireland football manager Michael O'Neill is said to be recovering in hospital after suffering a suspected heart attack yesterday.

It's understood Des O'Neill became unwell while at Belfast's Central train station yesterday morning.

The previous evening he had been at the Belfast Telegraph Sports Awards along with his wife Patricia to cheer on their son.

Staff at the train station quickly came to Mr O'Neill Snr's aid, performing CPR until paramedics arrived.

One of the Translink workers, who preferred not to be named, said he feared the worst. "I'm glad to hear he's doing well," he told the Belfast Telegraph.

"A passenger alerted me that a man had slumped over in the seating area.

"I went to him and got no response whatsoever. I checked for breath and there was no breath at all.

"I just immediately got him on the ground, shouted to my colleague to dial 999 and started giving CPR.

"Then the inspector came over and handed me the phone. He took over the CPR while I explained to the Ambulance Service exactly what happened."

He continued: "It was shocking. I'm glad to hear that man's well now because I was really worried, he was a terrible colour."

It's understood that Michael O'Neill was still at his hotel at the time of the incident, but later arrived at the station to thank staff for their help.

Last year his father, who had himself been an accomplished hurling player, spoke of his pride of his son's achievements during Euro 2016.

"Both his mother and I are really delighted that he has been so hugely successful as a manager. I don't think we could feel any prouder," he said.

At the Sports Awards on Monday the Northern Ireland team picked up four awards including both Manager and Team of the Year.

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