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'We've been overwhelmed with support': Dunboyne GAA club grateful for Roma donation to Sean Cox

Club chairman Fergus McNulty says the Cox family has been ‘very strong’ since the 53-year-old father was attacked.

Sean Cox alongside his wife Martina.
Sean Cox alongside his wife Martina.

THE DUNBOYNE GAA club and local community has been “overwhelmed with support” for Sean Cox since he was attacked outside Anfield in April, with Roma’s club president announcing this week that he will make a €150,000 donation to his family.

The 53-year-old father of three was was left in a coma after the attack which took place prior to Roma’s Champions League semi-final first-leg against Liverpool.

The Roma donation is a combined effort between the Serie A side through its Roma Cares foundation, as well as a personal donation from the club president James Pallotta.

Sean is currently receiving extensive rehabilitation care at the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire, and Dunboyne chairman Fergus McNulty says they’ve been “overwhelmed” by the outpouring of support for Sean, his wife Martina and their family.

“The support from many angles has been huge since April,” he told The42.

Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson with a banner for Sean Cox after the game Liverpool’s Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson holding a banner for Sean Cox. Source: Oisin Keniry/INPHO

“Sean is going to need an awful lot of help and support over many years. What we’ve tried to do is come together and campaign to see how we could fundraise to give Martina and the family some options with respect to Sean’s care over the long term.

“I think Martina and the family are very strong. They’re grateful for all the support they are getting and I think that certainly helps.

We’ve been overwhelmed with, not just support from the community but the Liverpool community have been great and more recently Roma have been generous, not just with their engagement but also the contribution they’ve made to the campaign.”

A number of fundraising efforts have been launched for Sean since the attack. A GoFundMe Page has raised over €400,000 at time of publication while McNulty says that a community run in Dunboyne last month “far exceeded their expectations” to raise €40,000.

A charity game between Meath and All-Ireland champions Dublin is scheduled to take place in Pairc Tailteann next month, and Meath manager Andy McEntee revealed that over 1,000 tickets have already been sold.

“Tickets are going very fast for that and we had our official launch last night which was great,” says McNulty.

“We’re looking forward to it, it’s a fixture we’ve had our eye on for a number of months. Meath and Dublin have been great in their willingness to participate.

Dunboyne is obviously a strong Meath club with a long tradition but it’s just ironic that the Meath manager [McEntee] is from Dunboyne and the Dublin manager [Jim Gavin] is from Sean’s original club in Clondalkin.

“It just adds to the symbolism on many levels. And two great rivals are coming together under sport to try and do their little bit for Sean.”

Sean is expected to remain in Dun Laoghaire until March, and McNulty calls in to see him when he can.

A former chairman and secretary of the club, Sean has played a central role in Dunboyne GAA for many years.

The junior and senior sides collected county championship titles this year to complete a fantastic double for the club, with Sean’s son Jack kicking four points in the junior decider.

Dunboyne celebrate after the game with the trophy Dunboyne players celebrate after defeating Summerhill in the 2018 Meath SFC final. Source: Tommy Dickson/INPHO

After winning their first Meath SFC title since 2005, the Dunboyne seniors advanced to the Leinster quarter-finals where they bowed out against eventual provincial champions Kilmacud Crokes.

Their U21 team is competing in a semi-final this weekend, where Dunboyne are hopeful that more success will follow on the pitch.

“It was a very good year on the playing pitch. To win senior in any given year is fantastic but to do the double is pretty special.

“Jack is an excellent hurler and footballer so I was delighted for him. Seeing him perform the way he did, it was obviously tinged with sadness that Sean wasn’t there to see that because that would have been a proud moment for Sean.

“We brought the cup into him and we made sure he was part of it.

“We’re a very fast growing club, we’d like to think that we are quite a progressive club and Sean has had a major role in that down through the years.

That makes it all the more difficult for everyone on one level but I think everyone feels they need to give something back to Sean.”

You can make a contribution to the Sean Cox GoFundMe Page here.

Tickets for the Meath v Dublin charity game on 16 December are available at www.supportsean.com

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