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World handball champion fighting for life after Crossmaglen hit-and-run

A county Armagh man is fighting for his life following a hit-and-run in Crossmaglen on Tuesday morning.

Conall McCavitt, a world handball champion player from Cullyhanna, as struck by a car on Cardinal O’Fiaich Square before 6.20am.

He was taken to Belfast’s Royal Victoria Hospital for treatment for injuries that were described as serious.

St Patrick’s, Cullyhanna GAA club posted a message of support on thier Facebook page. It read: “Our entire club and community is wishing one of our brightest young stars Conall McCavitt all the best in the days ahead. Please keep him in your thoughts and prayers.”

Slieve Gullion councillor Pete Byrne expressed his sympathy to Conall and his family.

“First of all, my thoughts are with the young fellow and his family, and I really hope he pulls through,” he told the Belfast Telegraph.

“The speed that people drive around the square has been and continues to be a problem,” he explained.

“People drive like it’s a race track at times. It was only a matter of time before something like this happened.”

Mr Byrne said that councillors had met with police on numerous occasions about cars “rallying round the town” and to discuss the absence of officers at night-time.

“We raised the issue time and time again. At night-time, this square can be a free-for-all because there is no police presence. It’s a small rural town and the police station is not manned at night.

“It takes the police an hour or an hour-and-a-half to come. It’s a nightmare.

“The speed at which people drive around the square, which has pubs and a hotel beside it, means that an accident was inevitable. The police say they are doing their best but they are stretched.”

The PSNI is appealing for anyone who witnessed the incident to contact officers in Newry on 101, quoting reference number 488 of 27/12/16.

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