San Francisco police have named the person of interest in the case of a Gaelic football player who has been suffering from brain damage at San Francisco General hospital since an on-the-field incident during a match in June on Treasure Island.
Cops say 27-year-old Patrick Power was seen standing over Mark McGovern, the 22-year-old Irishman who had arrived just days earlier in San Francisco to play for Ulster Club this summer.
Police spokesman Albie Esparza says Power’s attorney has advised him not to speak with authorities about the incident, for which there were few witnesses, despite happening during a public sporting event. The apparent fracas happened “off the ball” and away from the center of action. At the time, Ulster coach Joe Duffy said his players heard Power say, “He won’t get up from that,” when McGovern went down.
Power plays for the Celts, which according to the Gaelic Athletic Association’s website, is “keen” to get more American players involved with the team. Those close to the sport say while there is not an all-out rivalry between Irish-born and Irish-American players, the American players sometimes add plays with an extra edge to match their homeland brethren.
Irish players who commonly come to play in the summer U.S. leagues are called J-1ers, a term based on the visa they use for visiting and short-term work. McGovern’s family and girlfriend have been living in San Francisco to be by his bedside since shortly after the June 25 incident.
No arrests have been made as a result of the injury and Power has not officially been named as a suspect. Esparza said police are asking anyone with information to get in touch with investigators.
“We need to have witnesses come forward,” Esparza said.