SF activist is badly injured

Edward Street, Lurgan. INLM4912-128gc
Edward Street, Lurgan. INLM4912-128gc

A prominent Sinn Fein activist was badly beaten in an early morning attack in Lurgan as he returned home from a friend’s wedding.

Matt Rooney, who has been a party worker for more than 20 years, suffered serious injuries in the attack in Edward Street.

Mr Rooney had been walking home from a wedding at The Stables in Taghnevan when he was attacked.

The 49-year-old old told the Mail he had suffered a few bruises to his eyes, a broken jaw and tooth during the attack.

He had been taken to Craigavon Hospital for treatment and on release was referred to the Ulster Hospital at Dundonald.

Sinn Fein rubbished claims that the attack on Mr Rooney was linked to his work campaigning against drugs and anti-social behaviour.

Mr Rooney is regarded as a popular figure in north Lurgan and while he does work closely to combat anti-social behaviour and drugs, it is not thought the attack was related to this work.

He works with the Kilwilkie/Lurgan Tarry Residents Association.

Police have appealed for information following an assault outside licensed premises.

They said: “Around 2.20am two males were involved in a verbal disagreement before an assault occurred. A 49 year old man was knocked to the ground by another male and was kicked and punched. The victim sustained facial injuries including a fractured jaw.”

Police are appealing to any motorists or members of the public who may have witnessed the altercation and assault to contact them in Lurgan on 0845 600 8000. If you prefer you can contact the independent Crimestoppers charity anonymously on 0800 555 111