'A black day for our club': Mullingar Town apologise to assaulted referee Daniel Sweeney

The club has set up a GoFundMe page to help support Mr Sweeny in his recovery.

'A black day for our club': Mullingar Town apologise to assaulted referee Daniel Sweeney

Mullingar Town AFC has released a statement following the attack on referee Daniel Sweeney on Sunday, November 11.

Mr Sweeney was attacked after the senior match between Horseleap United and Mullingar Town, where his jaw was broken in two places, his eye-socket fractured and he had to get multiple stitches in his nose.

Mullingar Town chairman Martin Moore posted a statement on the club's Facebook page saying "the delay in making any comments up until this period was with due respect to the Sweeney family and An Garda Síochana."

The statement reads:

"First and foremost we wish to send our most sincere apologies to Daniel Sweeney and his family following the devastating and disgraceful attack after the game against Horsesleap United in Offaly on November 11.

"We also want to issue our apologies to The Irish Soccer Referees Society and to Paul Malone and his fellow referees in the Midlands who take charge of games in The Combined Counties Football League every week. Mullingar Town would also like to apologise to The Football Association of Ireland and to The Minister of Sport Brendan Griffin.

"We as a club do not condone or promote the actions that occurred after the game last week. That is not who we are as a club."

The club adds that they are "deeply sorry for what happened" and that November 11 "is and forever will be a black day for our club and for sport in general".

Mullingar Town set out that day to play a game of football and never expected or intended to be involved in an assault on a referee and once again we want to say sorry to Daniel and to his family.

We wish him all the best in a hopefully quick recovery from his injuries and see him back refereeing again. We offer our support to the Sweeney family in any way that they may need it.

The club added that it has set up a GoFundMe page to help support Mr Sweeney in his recovery.

"We have created the “Referee Daniel Sweeney Recovery Fund” and would like to ask anyone who can to please donate to it and share it to support Daniel and his family.

"We are sorry to all that this has affected and to all who have been let down by the incident. We will strive to work hard to gain the respect of the community again."

Mr Sweeney, who is recovering in St James's Hospital in Dublin, last week

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Video: Virgin Media News

Speaking to Virgin Media News, Mr Sweeney said he does not hold a grudge against the people who hurt him.

"I consider myself a man of faith, I want to say that I bear no animosity towards them whatsoever for what's happened," said Mr Sweeney.

"I actually would forgive them and that would be my message: I forgive you for what happened and hold no grudge."

- additional reporting by Digital Desk

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