GAA club left shocked after city assault on star player
One of Ulster's leading sports clubs has been dealt a major blow, after a rising Slaughtneil GAA star sustained serious facial injuries in an assault just days before a crucial game.
The reigning Derry and Ulster senior club football champions are scheduled to meet Tyrone kingpins Omagh St Enda's in Saturday's provincial championship quarter-final.
But their mounting injury list has now been exacerbated after an assault on squad member Conor McAllister.
The player was the victim of an unprovoked attack in Belfast on Tuesday night.
It's understood the injuries McAllister suffered include four broken teeth.
The attack triggered shock waves within the Slaughtneil club and the Derry GAA community.
John Joe Kearney, assistant manager of the football team, revealed last night that the club has been left "stunned" by what occurred.
"This is a despicable happening - we have a young sportsman, just coming into his prime, the victim of a full-blooded assault," Kearney said last night.
"He had played outstandingly for our hurlers on Sunday and as far as we were aware he was in the squad for Saturday's football semi-final. What happened to Conor puts everything into perspective.
"This was naturally a big shock to his family and friends and all his playing colleagues here in Slaughtneil. Conor loves his sport, he plays whatever code he is involved in fairly and he certainly did not deserve this."