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Down inter-county star Caolan Mooney has reportedly been hospitalised after sustaining head injuries in an alleged assault in the early hours of Monday morning.

According to a report in The Irish News, the 26-year-old was outside Newry’s Canal Court Hotel when he sustained the head injuries and is said to be in a stable condition at Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital.

Mooney had featured in his side’s McKenna Cup opening round win over Fermanagh on Sunday and he has been a huge part of Down’s team since he returned from Collingwood in the AFL in 2014.

Speaking on the incident Down boss Paddy Tally said the following, again in The Irish News;

“We’re shocked and saddened that Caolan has been hospitalised, and we understand that a criminal investigation is under way,” he said.

“Given the seriousness of the situation, we ask people to refrain from speculation or rumour about the incident. Caolan is a very important player and important leader in our team. He is vice-captain, he had an excellent year this year and we’re looking forward to him being back playing in Down colours as soon as possible. We hope and pray that he makes a full recovery and our thoughts are with his fiancée and his entire family at this time. Their welfare and their right to privacy should be fully respected.”

The report also outlines that a 37-year-old man has been “charged with affray and attempted grievous bodily harm with intent in connection with an assault” on a 26-year-old as well as a 32-year-old man in the Merchant’s Quay area of Newry in the early hours of Monday morning and he will appear at Armagh Magistrates’ Court on Tuesday.

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