Mullingar AFC have issued an apology to referee Daniel Sweeney after three men associated with the club assaulted the official in a car-park after a soccer game between Horseleap United and Mullingar Town in Horseleap, Co Offaly last Sunday week.
Sweeney suffered two fractures to his jaw, one fracture to his eye socket and multiple cuts and bruises, some of which required stitches. The referee has since forgiven his assailants, and the midlands club have also set up a GoFundMe page in order to raise funds for Sweeney to cover his medical expenses as well as cover the time that has missed from work due to the assault.
Here is their statement in full:
Mullingar Town A.F.C 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 Horsesleap United in Offaly on 11 November.
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.
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.
You can donate to the Referee Daniel Sweeney Recovery Fund’ here.