From the Indo, must have been a savage assault altogether, jaw broken in two places, mouth cut and has to go to two hospitals. It was only a fooking challenge match.
Glad to see the Gardai are getting involved, especially as it was an off-the-ball incident.
FORMER All-Ireland medalist with Kerry has had to be transferred from two hospitals after sustaining a serious facial injury in an off-the-ball incident during a club game.
Twenty-six-year-old Stephen O'Sullivan, from the Skellig Rangers club in Portmagee, South Kerry, had his jaw broken in two places during a challenge match against local rivals Valentia on Monday night, which was immediately abandoned following the incident.
The player was rushed to Kerry Regional Hospital, in Tralee, but was transferred yesterday to Cork University Hospital.
However, because of the seriousness of his injury, the hospital authorities there arranged for him to be moved on to St James's Hospital in Dublin, where he is expected to undergo surgery later today.
O'Sullivan, a member of the Kerry squad for the 2000 All-Ireland final replay win over Galway, also lined out for the Kingdom U21 side for three years, and for the county minor team for two years. He has won two county championship medals with South Kerry.
Stephen's father Tom told the Irish Independent that he reported the incident to the gardai, and garda sources confirmed that a statement had been obtained.
Kerry Board secretary Sean Walsh, who remarked that it was a challenge match, revealed his board would be seeking a copy of the referee's report as soon as possible.
"I've just heard about the incident from my wife who heard the news on Radio Kerry," he said. "I'll know more about the situation in 24 hours' time."
Mr O'Sullivan added that he was incensed by the assault. "His face is in a terrible mess, and he will have to drink out of a straw for a couple of months. As well as his jaw being broken in two places, the inside of his mouth is all cut. A broken jaw is normally a routine operation, but there are obviously complications with Stephen's condition because they wouldn't operate on him in either Tralee or Cork.
"I sincerely hope the GAA doesn't sweep this incident under the carpet, as the culprit whom I know the identity of, deserves to be brought to justice," added Mr O'Sullivan, who drove his son from Cork this morning to be in St James's Hospital by 10am.
It was not possible for the Irish Independent to ascertain the injured player's view on the incident. "His face is much too sore to talk, and you wouldn't be able to understand what he might say," said Mr O'Sullivan.
Stephen's team-mate Sean Courtney was the first player on the scene after the incident, but revealed he didn't see what happened. "I had my back to the incident which happened off the ball," he said.
Another player, goalkeeper Mike Brennan, said: "I didn't see what happened, but I heard the smack of the blow which sounded like a pint glass falling on the floor."
Two high-ranking officers of the Skellig Rangers club declined to make any comment on the incident. Secretary Anthony Keating, who refereed the match, said: "I have nothing to say," and chairman Kevin Martin revealed that he had been playing golf at the time of the match.
Skellig Rangers, who are a junior club, had arranged the match against intermediate outfit Valentia as part of their preparations for their county championship clash with west Kerry's Lispole next Saturday.