Hope continues for US GAA man

Hope is continuing this week on both sides of the Atlantic as 22-year-old Belcoo player Mark McGovern is said to be able to start some non verbal communications with hospital and members of his family.

Hope is continuing this week on both sides of the Atlantic as 22-year-old Belcoo player Mark McGovern is said to be able to start some non verbal communications with hospital and members of his family.

The young player was seriously injured in an off-the-ball incident during a gaelic football match in San Francisco, just five days after arriving in the United States, in June.

“We are delighted that he has opened his eyes and been able to communicate,” his sister Helen said yesterday. “He hasn’t been able to talk yet, however, he can whisper slowly and we can lip read if he wants something. It’s small steps but certainly the right steps and we are happy.”

Last Thursday, following a day of fundraising at Caroline’s cafe on Bundoran’s Main Street, a total of €1,600 was raised for the young player’s support fund.

Cllr Michael McMahon told the Democrat: “It was a great turnout last week and I am delighted to say that the cake, tea and coffee morning raised a total of €1,600 on the day. This was a magnificent effort and I just want to put on record our sincere thanks to everyone who contributed and those that called in during the day with apple tarts and cakes. It was a great community initiative and it reflects the great generosity of GAA people and locals in Donegal, to a young man from a neighbouring county. The small contribution were just as welcome as the bigger donations.”

He said that he had been in contact with people in San Francisco within the previous 24 hours and that while fingers were still crossed, there were the first signs that a corner might have been turned.

“The reports that I have been getting in the past 24 hours would indicate that there has been a slight improvement and that he can communicate by writing, although he is not able to speak. How much communication is taking place I am not sure, but it is a step in the right direction.”

Peter McIntyre in Bundoran’s Allingham Hotel has also announced that a fundraiser will take place in the hotel on August 19. Playing on the night will be the popular Anthony McBride, Aidan Quinn and special guest star Philomena Begley. Tickets are available from the main reception desk.

Meanwhile US police investigating the alleged assault which left the Fermanagh man fighting for his life on June 25 have identified a “person of interest”. He has been named as a 27 year old member of the opposing team, but has not been arrested. US police have repeated calls for anyone with information to come forward.

Members of McGovern family have maintained a bedside vigil since the incident.