Club at the centre of Offaly referee attack releases statement
The club at the centre of an attack on a referee in Offaly on Sunday, November 11, have released a statement apologising to the victim.
Referee Daniel Sweeney was attacked by at least four individuals, three of which are suspected of being Mullingar Town A.F.C players, suffering serious facial injuries including a broken jaw after a match in Horseleap.
In a statement, Mullingar Town A.F.C chairman Martin Moore said the club "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 Horseleap United in Offaly on November 11. 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," the statement continued.
"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."
"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."