'A black day for our club' - Mullingar Town apologise for attack on referee after soccer match

Daniel Sweeney was hospitalised following the game in Westmeath.

Referee Daniel Sweeney was attacked after a match in Horseleap.
Referee Daniel Sweeney was attacked after a match in Horseleap.

MULLINGAR TOWN FOOTBALL club have released a statement to apologise to referee Daniel Sweeney following the incident in a game last weekend which saw him assaulted and hospitalised. 

The statement describes the incident as ‘a devastating and disgraceful attack’ with the club outlining that the events after the match in Horseleap in Westmeath will forever ‘be a black day’ for the club.

The club have wished Sweeney well and created a fund to help support him after he sustained severe facial injuries which required him to undergo surgery and have resulted in him being unable to work.

In an interview with RTÉ News last week, the referee said he has forgiven those who attacked him.

There was widespread condemnation of the attack in the aftermath. Minster with responsibility for Sport Brendan Griffin said he was ‘appalled’ by the incident and would discuss the matter with FAI CEO John Delaney.

The statement from Mullingar Town reads in full:

“Mullingar Town A.F.C would like to issue a formal statement regarding the events of last week, the delay in making any comments up until this period was with due respect to the Sweeney family and An Garda Síochana.

“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 11 November.

“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. Mullingar Town A.F.C have been playing football for 130 years, in various leagues and cups and we pride ourselves on our core values of respect, good sportsmanship and the inclusion of all in our community. That is what we wish to instil in all of our players and how we will conduct ourselves in the future.

“We are so deeply sorry for what happened last Sunday, it 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.

Gavin Cooney
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DSweeneyFund Source: GoFundMe

“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.

“Martin Moore


Mullingar Town A.F.C.”

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