Belfast Telegraph

Student struck outside Belfast bar could have died, says mum

By Cate McCurry

A rising star in Gaelic football "could have been killed" after he was struck outside a Belfast bar, his mother has said.

Cormac Munroe, the captain of Tyrone's All Ireland under-17 winning team and a World Handball champion, was left with head injuries after the alleged assault on the Ormeau Road earlier this week.

The altercation was captured in a video which shows the moment the student was knocked to the ground outside the Hatfield Bar.

His mother, Eithne Munroe, who described Cormac as a "very modest and quiet lad", said he could have been killed.

"My son was standing with his hands in his pockets and was in the wrong place at the wrong time," she said. "It could have been so much different. I was in Derry at the weekend when that teenager was killed by one punch. It's horrendous to think what could have happened to Cormac."

The South West College student from Carrickmore was discharged from Craigavon Area Hospital, but remains under observation as medics wait to assess the damage caused to his face, jawline and head.

Cormac was left with severe concussion and vomited for more than 48 hours after the incident, which happened after a night out with friends.

He was rushed to the Royal Victoria Hospital, although he was discharged from the emergency department after seven hours. It's understood a consultant who later reviewed the student's notes became concerned and contacted his GP to request a review.

Eithne added: "His GP sent him to Craigavon Hospital because he was still severely concussed.

"We know how severe things could have been and that it could have been a one-punch kill."

The talented sportsman will miss out on club championship games next month as well as training for the World Handball games as he begins his recovery.

His mother added: "It's been a dark and difficult few days and I pray that there is no long-term damage. Cormac has put everything into his sports career, he's very health conscious and into his fitness."

A spokeswoman for the Belfast Health Trust said: "The ED has a number of safety procedures in place whereby on occasions patients may be recalled for further assessments, tests or investigations."

After the incident, a spokesman for The Hatfield bar said it was aware of an incident on the Ormeau Road between a member of public and an employee of an independent security firm. They added: "This individual was not present in our premises at any time. We are unable to comment any further at this stage."

A PSNI spokesman said enquiries are ongoing.

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