Popular Roscommon man on life support after assault

Former Shannon Gaels and Roscommon inter-county footballer Paul Newton remains in a critical condition in the Royal Victoria Hospital in Belfast after he was assaulted in the early hours of Friday night/Saturday morning on a street in Belfast city centre.   Paul was in the city on Friday evening to attend the Connacht v Ulster rugby match in the Magners League. He was assaulted close to the hotel in which he was staying between 3 am and 3.30 am and it is understood that he sustained serious head and facial injuries. He was taken to the Royal Victoria Hospital in the city and placed on a life support machine.   Yesterday (Wednesday) he remained in a critical condition and his wife Maggie and his two children and other family members are maintaining a bedside vigil. The PSNI are investigating the incident and it is thought that it was a totally unprovoked attack. The PSNI also believe that the attack was carried out by only one person.   Paul Newton (43) is a former Shannon Gaels and Roscommon footballer and he also played for St. Mary’s in Sligo and the Sligo senior football team after he moved to live in Sligo over a decade ago. He is also a former St.  Mary’s club chairman. He played for the Roscommon over 40’s team over the past few years and attended almost all Roscommon’s GAA games and was at the Connacht U-21 football final in Kiltoom last week. Paul is also an accomplished basketball player.   Paul worked in Shannonside Radio for a period before he moved to Sligo  where he worked in the financial services industry before setting up his own business in recent years. Paul is a brother of former Roscommon county players Des and John and former Shannon Gaels player Enda. His father JP, another Roscommon and Leitrim GAA stalwart, passed away last year.   Almost four hundred people attended a mass for Paul’s recovery at the St.  Mary’s GAA club in Sligo on Monday night of this week. People throughout Roscommon and all over the country have been shocked at the news of the violent attack on Paul Newton who is a very popular man throughout the region in sporting and business circles.