GAA star accused of beating man so badly he could lose kidney playing days after court date

Ciaran McFaul is facing years behind bars if convicted of a raft of charges relating to an alleged brutal attack

Derry star Ciaran McFaul could be facing jail over the alleged attack

The GPS device visible under McFaul’s sock

Steven MooreSunday World

A Derry GAA star accused of beating a man in the US so badly he could lose his kidney was back playing just four days after appearing in court.

Ciaran McFaul is facing years behind bars if convicted of a raft of charges relating to an alleged brutal attack in Boston.

The 28-year-old former county player appeared at the South Boston Division of Boston Municipal Court on Wednesday August 3, where he was charged with assault and battery and assault and battery with a dangerous weapon causing serious bodily injury.

District attorney Kevin Hayden described McFaul in court as having a “hunger for violence” which “resulted in potential life-long impacts on a victim who was doing nothing more than standing on a street corner with friends”.

But just four days later – having been released on bail with strict bail conditions including he wears a GPS tracking device – McFaul lined up to play for the Donegal Boston Gaelic football team alongside Dublin’s six-time All-Ireland champion Paul Mannion.

The GPS device visible under McFaul’s sock

McFaul is also banned by the court from drinking alcohol and has a special device fitted to detect if he breaches that.

Our picture shows McFaul playing in the Boston Senior Football Championship last Sunday, where he helped his side win their semi-final and proceed to today’s Senior Football Final.

His GPS tracking tag is clearly visible under his sock and it’s understood his team had to ask for special permissions for him to be allowed to play with it on.

But despite awaiting trial on the serious assault charges, McFaul played an integral part in winning the match against the Connemara Gaels.

Indeed, a match report not only mentions the fact there was much “anticipation” in the build-up as to whether McFaul would play, but he apparently changed the game when he entered the fray from the substitute’s bench.

The report stated: “There was plenty of anticipation as to who might be in Donegal’s starting side, given recent events in the news, but it would be a strong side whether or not they availed of the services of Ciaran McFaul, who though togged out, was not in the starting line-up.”

And it added later that with the game in the balance, Donegal brought a couple of subs including McFaul.

It said: “To the surprise of many in attendance, McFaul was also added to the fray, and when the game restarted the change in fortunes was instantaneous. McFaul won a couple of early balls and the result was two Donegal points.”

The Sunday World contacted Donegal Boston GAA for comment but they did not respond, but it’s expected that McFaul will once again be involved when they play Aidan McAnespies GAA in the final today.

Just four days before he played the game, McFaul was in court accused of attacking three men at West Broadway, South Boston, on June 20.

One of the victims suffered serious internal injuries.

District attorney Kevin Hayden said McFaul met the men while heavily intoxicated after he was thrown out of the Lincoln Tavern and Restaurant at around 2am.

Mr Hayden said: “He punched one victim three times in the face, causing the victim to fall to the ground.

“He then kicked the victim in the abdomen at least five times with a shod foot.

“The victim suffered serious internal injuries including a stage-four kidney laceration and internal bleeding.”

He spent two days in intensive care in hospital. The man is at risk of losing a kidney as a result of his injuries, according to prosecutors.

McFaul was ordered to remain in Massachusetts for the duration of the court case and have no contact with the victim.

Judge Pamela M Dashiell imposed a bail of $5,000 on McFaul and he was also ordered to surrender his passport.

He must wear the GPS tracking device and stay off drink. He was ordered to use a SCRAM device to to monitor any alcohol consumption.

The sight of McFaul playing in a big semi-final raised eyebrows among the crowd in Boston last week.

One source told the Sunday World: “Everyone was a bit surprised to see him involved at all, given the charges he’s facing.

“It’s been the talk of the Irish community after he appeared in court. The whole thing is a bit of a shock and a massive headache for Donegal Boston GAA, who had to make the call.

“At the end of the day, though, he’s innocent until proven guilty and so why not get him to play? He’s a class player.”

McFaul was a county player right up until April this year when Derry football manager Rory Gallagher announced he had left the senior panel after being made an offer to play in America.

“Ciaran is no longer part of the panel,” explained the Oak Leaf boss four months ago. “I’m not sure if he is going to travel or not but he is potentially talking about going to America.

“I’m not sure, it’s a long way off before he would go but look, from our point of view he hasn’t been as committed as we would have liked over the course of this year.

“By his own admission Ciaran’s form this year has not been what he would expect of himself but, look, whatever he decides to do, whether he decides to travel or not, we wish him well.”

McFall is due back in court on September 14 for a pre-trial hearing.

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