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Community rallies to support tragic hurling fan

Jason McGann: has never regained consciousness.
Jason McGann: has never regained consciousness.

A Galway hurling supporter remains in a critical condition in a Dublin hospital, two months after he fell into a canal on the morning of the All-Ireland final.

Jason McGann from Carra, Bullaun, Loughrea remains unconscious in St James’ Hospital after he was pulled from the Grand Canal in the capital in the early hours of Sunday, September 3.

The 23-years-old, who plays junior hurling with Sarsfields, had travelled with friends to Dublin on the Saturday for Galway’s All-Ireland senior and minor hurling finals at Croke Park.

After socialising in the city on Saturday, Jason fell into the canal near Portobello as he made his way back to his hotel. A couple who were sheltering from the rain nearby, heard a splash, and came to his assistance. He was rescued and brought to St James where he remains to this day and his condition is still described as critical. It is understood Jason’s heart stopped for a short time during the fall, and he remains unconscious.

His father Dermot, and mother, Martina (nee Holland) from Turloughmore, as well as his two younger brothers and younger sister, have maintained a bedside vigil at the hospital since the accident, and have rotated trips to Dublin.

The community in Bullaun has rallied to help the McGanns, and have established a committee, ‘Friends of Jason McGann’, to fundraise to support the family.

“It all started with his neighbours, who were trying to help out.  They were saying that there was an awful strain on the family financially and emotionally, because of what was happening because they had to stay with him round the clock in Dublin.  somebody has to be with him all the time. It means they rotate it,” explained Jimmy Cooney, committee member of Friends of Jason McGann.

“We did a house-to-house collection within our own parish over the weekend and this weekend we’re running a dance in Ballyfa to try and alleviate some of the burden of the financial strain on the family.”

The committee is organising a fundraising dance in Ward’s of Ballyfa in New Inn this coming Saturday night, November 11, from 9pm. Tickets cost €10 and can be purchased on the door. All are welcome and encouraged to attend. Some of the Galway senior and minor hurling managements and players have promised they will attend with the Liam McCarthy and Irish Press cups.

“It’s a shocking sad story. We’d be very hopeful of a good crowd. People have been asking are we doing anything and they’d like to support it and this is an opportunity for them to come and support the cause,” explained Jimmy Cooney, committee member of Friends of Jason McGann.