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In happier time: Mark McGovern

Mark McGovern's sister criticizes 96-week GAA ban given to player

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In happier time: Mark McGovern

The family of Mark McGovern, the young Belcoo footballer that was put into a coma mere weeks after arriving in California, has admitted that they're "very disappointed" at the sentence that Mark's attack has been given.

Patrick Power, the co-footballer that knocked McGovern out and then stood over him saying "you won't get up from that," was given a mere 96-week suspension by the San Francisco GAA Competition Control Committee, which they claim is the  maximum penalty allowed under the rule that Power supposedly violated.

BBC reported that the “family did not know much about GAA rules and were seeking advice before deciding to take further action.” According to Grace, "Obviously as a family we were very disappointed that he [Power] didn't get a life ban."

However, they do admit that the San Francisco GAA Competition Control Committee has been "very co-operative with us and we're very grateful of the help and the support that they have given us."

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As for Mark's recovery, his family says that he is doing quite well. "He's coming on leaps and bounds, he is defying all the doctors and nurses," Grace said.

"Yesterday I was speaking to the physiotherapist and she said that she has been a therapist for 18 years and Mark's recovery is nothing but miraculous.”

Mark's recovery has come at a steep price; The Mark McGovern Rehabilitation Fundraising Committee had to be set up to raise money to cover the hospital and rehabilitation bill which has now exceeded one million dollars. A fundraising benefit is being planned for this September, but even now, the family reported that they've had donations from all over the world, from America, Hong Kong, and their hometown of Belcoo.

"I can't even express in words how thankful we are of the support, the prayers, the thoughts, the time and effort that people have put in, says Mark's sister. "Mark is just an inspiration. He obviously has a long road to go, but at the minute we're just glad that we've got our Mark with us.”

To donate for Mark McGovern’s Rehabilitation fund, click here.

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