GAA player seriously hurt in punch attack, court told
CLAIM: Player 'kissed his fist after blow'
A SOUTH Dublin GAA player was left with serious facial injuries when an opponent delivered an "enormous" punch to his mouth during a championship game, it is alleged.
Kilmacud Crokes footballer Christopher Carolan's gums were ripped from the bone in his mouth, while he lost a tooth and had two more broken in the incident in UCD's sports centre. Dublin District Court heard a bone in his mouth was broken and he estimated treatment would cost €16,000.
It is alleged the injury was caused by Castleknock player Patrick Molloy (36) who witnesses have said punched Mr Carolan in the face on the pitch.
One Kilmacud club official alleged he was "pretty sure" he saw the accused "basking in the bravado of what he had done" by kissing his fist on the field afterwards.
Molloy, of Glenville Garth, Clonsilla, is denying a charge of assault causing harm to Mr Carolan in the incident on May 17, 2009.
The court heard there had been some pre-match "hype" and "jostling" on the pitch, but none of those present felt it was out of the ordinary.
Mr Carolan, a student from Stillorgan, alleged that the accused ran up to him and he did not see a blow coming.
"I got hit and the next thing I remember I was on my knees and a good bit of blood coming from my mouth," Mr Carolan said. "I was in shock, I just sat there on the ground. My two lips were burst and two teeth were broken and pushed back into my mouth.
"One tooth was completely dislodged and either I swallowed it or I lost it on the pitch. The gum was ripped off the bone and there was a bone broken that holds the teeth in place."
The court heard Mr Carolan went to St Vincent's hospital and had to sit an exam the following day despite being on painkillers. Witnesses for the prosecution described seeing Molloy strike Mr Carolan, but differed on the angle they said they saw him strike at. They denied seeing Mr Carolan make any "threatening gestures".
Castelknock player Matthew Griffin gave evidence of seeing his teammate Molloy strike Mr Carolan.
Kilmacud Crokes official Martin Johnson said he did not see the incident.
"I observed Chris in a very sorry state, kneeling with his hands limp by his sides with a glazed look, staring out into space and blood pouring from his mouth," he said.
Cross-examined by defence solicitor Michael O'Connor, Mr Johnson said he could only say he was "pretty sure" he saw Molloy kissing his fist on the pitch. The defence case will be heard when the hearing resumes before Judge Catherine Murphy next month.