A MAN has been released on bail after two people were stabbed at an underage GAA match in Co. Tyrone.
The incident occurred at the end of an Under-16 Championship match between Cookstown Fr Rocks and Fintona Pearses at Paddy Cullen Park on Thursday evening.
One man was taken to hospital following the incident, while another was treated at the scene.
Footage shared online after the game appeared to show police leading a man off the pitch.
The Independent reports that the two people injured were the referee and an umpire.
Sinn Féin MP Francie Molloy described the matter as ‘concerning and deeply traumatising’.
“I wish the victims a full and speedy recovery,” said the MP for Mid Ulster.
“The fact this incident took place at a game where young people were playing sport is concerning and deeply traumatising, particularly for the young people who witnessed it.
“It’s essential that these young people and children have the support and assistance they require over the coming days.
“I call on anyone with any information to assist the police in their investigation.”
The PSNI said officers and colleagues from the Northern Ireland Ambulance Service attended the scene at a sports ground in the Convent Road area of Cookstown.
A 42-year-old man was arrested and taken into custody for questioning before being released on police bail to allow for further enquiries.
In a statement, the GAA said it condemned the attack ‘in the strongest terms possible’.
“As an organisation we have a duty of care to protect our volunteer officials and the events that unfolded in Cookstown are totally unacceptable,” added the statement.
“We will work with the PSNI and our units, at both county and club level, to establish the facts around what occurred and, in the meantime, we extend our best wishes to those who were injured in the incident.”
Both clubs involved in the fixture said they would support the children who witnessed Thursday’s events.
“The Club is aware of a serious incident that occurred tonight at an underage football match which the PSNI are investigating,” read a statement on the Fintona Pearses Facebook page.
“Our thoughts are with those impacted and all focus is on the welfare of the children and young people present.
“The Club will be making no further comment at this time.”
A statement from Cookstown Fr Rocks read: “Following a very serious incident at Padráig O’ Cuilinn Pairc this evening during an Under 16 Championship match our thoughts are with the individuals impacted by it.
“The committee will now work to ensure that children and young people who witnessed this disturbing and very serious incident have the support and assistance that they require in the coming days.”
Anyone who may have witnessed the incident, or who may have footage that could assist the investigation, is asked to contact police on 101 quoting reference 1960 of July 6, 2023.