Sister's prayers after GAA star Ronan Clarke's goalpost injury leaves him in intensive care
The sister of injured GAA player Ronan Clarke has spoken of how difficult it has been for her to see her little brother in intensive care.
The 32-year-old suffered a serious head injury while playing for Pearse Og against Maghery in the Armagh club championship on Saturday.
He collided with a goalpost at speed during the game and was rushed to intensive care at Craigavon Hospital.
Speaking to the Belfast Telegraph from hospital yesterday, Sinead Curry said that it was "very difficult" to see her brother in such a state.
She said: "He is making good progress and has woken up which is brilliant, but we are all really upset that he has been hurt.
"He is as good as can be expected and we are hoping that he will keep improving over the next few days.
"He has been taken off the ventilator and is being given a bit of oxygen."
The two-time All Star got married a few weeks ago and his new bride Michelle and his extended family have been at his bedside since the accident.
The newlyweds had only just returned from their first honeymoon in Malta and were due to travel to Rome for a further celebration yesterday.
Speaking of her brother's wife, Sinead said: "Michelle is holding up OK.
"As long as Ronan is OK we will all be fine, he is all that is important at the minute."
She also issued a message of gratitude to everyone who was rallying round the family and said that Ronan was normally a "very shy" man who would be overwhelmed by the support he has attracted.
She said: "We as a family along with Ronan's wife Michelle would like to thank each and every one of you for your thoughts and prayers.
"Ronan is still in intensive care but is making progress and being extremely well looked after. We have been overwhelmed by the amount of support we have received and can't thank you all enough."
Ronan scored two points before suffering the injury in Saturday's match and there has been widespread support from across the GAA community, with a number of high-profile players posting their thoughts and support for the family on social media.
"Desperate news about Ronan Clarke. Great fella," five-time All-Ireland winner Tomas O Se posted on his Twitter account yesterday.
"Hope he makes full recovery. No doubt he will. Best wishes fella."
Former Wexford star Matty Forde wrote: "Terrible news regarding Ronan Clarke, here's to a quick and full recovery,"
Ronan was awarded All Stars in 2006 and 2008 in a career that has often been hampered by injuries.
He was also a member of Armagh's first All-Ireland-winning team.
A spokesman for Craigavon Hospital said yesterday that Ronan's condition was serious but stable.