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‘Best festive present’ as GAA star Ruairi wakes from coma

Thursday, 29 December 2016

"THE best Christmas present ever" is how well-wishers have described Crossmaglen Rangers player Ruairi O'Neill emerging from a coma after contracting meningitis.

Prayer vigils have been held for the young GAA star at St Patrick's Church in Crossmaglen since the university student was struck down with the disease.

News that Ruairi had regained consciousness was revealed on the club's Twitter feed last week, to huge delight and joy of hundreds of well-wishers and supporters, many of whom said it was "best Christmas ever" for the 18-year-old and his family.

Just days earlier Ruairi's father, Kevin had said that his son was playing in the "toughest match of his life" and urged friends to "please keep praying for our wee man".

Well-wishers from all over the province and beyond have offered their support, including Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness who posted a picture of Ruairi holding a trophy and wishing him the very best.

Earlier this month Ruairi, who is recovering in Belfast's Royal Victoria Hospital, helped bring the club to victory for the second time in clinching the county title.

The good news has brought immense relief to the community in Crossmaglen, and a thanksgiving Rosary service was held in St Patrick's last Thursday (December 22) evening.

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