Crossmaglen respond as GAA community rallies around young star fighting for his life
Crossmaglen Rangers under-21 footballer, Ruairí O'Neill, is currently fighting for his life in hospital after contracting meningitis.
The news comes as a shock to the Crossmaglen and wider GAA community as just two weeks previously, O'Neill helped his team to secure their second county title.
There has been an outpouring of support on the club's Facebook page with messages of support coming from as far away as the GAA community in New York.
Ruairi's father, Kevin, wrote on Facebook that his son is currently playing in "the toughest match of his life".
Contacted by SportsJOE, a spokesperson for the club gave an update on the situation.
"Ruairi is a talented young player and vital member of the Crossmaglen Rangers club.
"The Community in Crossmaglen is rallying round the family to provide whatever support we can. The thoughts and prayers of all our club members and the entire Crossmaglen Community are very much with Ruairi and his family at this difficult time.
"We thank everyone from across the country and further afield who have sent messages and good wishes to Ruiari and his family and appreciate the tremendous support of the GAA family at this time.
"We are all praying for Ruairi’s full and speedy recovery."
The wider GAA community, including Northern Ireland's Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness, has also shown support on Twitter.
— Martin McGuinness (@M_McGuinness_SF) December 20, 2016
— BurrenGAAOfficial (@BurrenGAA) December 21, 2016
Thoughts with Ruairi O'Neill and the @crossrangers club at this difficult time.
— Dromintee GAC (@drominteegac) December 21, 2016
Thoughts and prayers for young Ruairi 'Bazzy' O Neill, tough as teak and born to win..@crossrangers
— Darren Mc Ardle (@Dazmc78) December 21, 2016