Police in San Francisco have named 27-year-old Patrick Power, a Celts player, as a person of interest, in the attack on GAA player Mark McGovern last month. The 22-year-old has suffered severe brain damage as a result of a blunt trauma to the head.
The attack took place on the field on June 25. McGovern had been recruited from Ireland to play for the Ulster team, in San Francisco for the summer. During the game someone hit McGovern so hard that he was knocked unconscious and has suffered brain damage.
Investigators say that the ball was nowhere near McGovern when he was hit. Police say that Power has hired an attorney but has declined to speak to the police. He was seen standing over McGovern who was unconscious. Later he yelled a vulgar word at the player and shouted "He wont' get up from that."
McGovern's family and girlfriend have been at his beside since the accident. They had remained hopeful that he would make a full recovery until a recent MRI showed that his brain has been damaged.
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Speaking to KTVU his mother, Josie, said "Mark came to San Francisco to play a wee bit of football; not to get killed". His fateful match on June 25 would be his first and last in San Francisco.
Danny, his father said "It's been very difficult. It's been the worst month in our lives." He added "With more information as to how it happened, it could be a big help to Mark's life."
His parents, three sisters, girlfriend and teammates have all been living in San Francisco since the incident. Danny believes they will stay in the Bay Area for at least a year. They said they will not go home without McGovern.
Joe Duffy, the coach of the Ulster San Francisco team spoke to SFWeekly.com. He said "The family is strong and positive and they are dealing with it really well, but they are in it for the long haul. Everyone hopes Mark makes a full recovery, but he has a long way to go."
Duffy and supporters in Ireland are beginning plans for a fundraising campaign to help McGovern and his family. Details will follow.