The referee viciously assaulted and hospitalised following a soccer game in the midlands yesterday is a Donegal man.
Dungloe native Daniel Sweeney referees in the Combined Counties Football League and took charge of the game between Horseleap and Mullingar Town yesterday in Horseleap, which is near the Westmeath-Offaly border.
After the game, three players and a spectator were involved in an incident in the carpark, where Mr Sweeney sustained his injuries.
The Combined Counties Football League have already said that the perpetrators will be handed lifetime bans and Mullingar Town would be heavily fined.
Mr Sweeney was taken to Midlands Regional Hospital in Tullamore and has since been transferred to St James’s Hospital in Dublin to be treated for facial injuries.
Gardaí from Tullamore were called to the scene and are investigating.
“Daniel Sweeney is going into surgery this afternoon and it appears his jaw had been broken in two places,” said Irish Soccer Referees’ Society President, Paul O’Brien.
“John Delaney has told me he is taking this incident very seriously and will meet us to discuss what needs to be done.
“We will be asking the FAI to take steps to introduce a new ‘Respect the Referee’ programme and an educational campaign to go with it.”