Young rugby star cleared over car park punch charge
A TALENTED young rugby player has been cleared of punching another reveller while out celebrating a mutual friend's 21st birthday.
Dylan Olin (21) said he walked away three times from Luke Synnott who was "out of it" and looking for a fight.
Mr Synnott had claimed Mr Olin punched him in the face after he wrongly thought he was talking about him.
Mr Synnott was knocked out cold by Mr Olin, who said he punched him in self-defence after Mr Synnott took a swing at him.
Judge John Coughlan dismissed the charge, saying the victim and his friends had taken a lot of drink and were unreliable witnesses.
The accused, of Deerpark Crescent in Ballycullen, had denied seriously assaulting Mr Synnott at Knocklyon Road in Rathfarnham on July 1 last year.
Mr Synnott told Tallaght District Court he and a group of friends were in the Wright Venue in Swords.
Mr Synnott said he and his friends got a bus home and he was standing talking to friends when he was struck from behind.
The next thing he remembers was two paramedics standing over him. He claimed he was very dazed and out cold for a few minutes.
He was taken to St Vincent's Hospital for treatment for a cracked cheekbone.
Cross-examined by defence solicitor Padraig O'Donovan, Mr Synnott admitted he was drunk, having had 10 bottles of beer and two shots of vodka. He denied he was "out of it".
He accepted he was "giddy" on the bus, and he had taken off his clothes and was running up and down the bus.
Mr Synnott denied he swung at Mr Olin in the car park.
His friends, Elliott Hyland and Stephen Keegan, said they saw Mr Olin punch him, with one saying Mr Olin ran straight at Mr Synnott while another claimed he came from the side.
In his evidence, Mr Olin, a former Senior Cup rugby player and qualified gym instructor, said he doesn't drink and he spent the night trying to avoid Mr Synnott.
He said Mr Synnott was extremely drunk and he said to him "f**k off you plastic gangster" in the nightclub. He got up in his face and asked him outside for a fight.
Mr Olin said he had intended going home on the bus but he didn't want any trouble so he got a lift home.
He said his friends had gathered in Knocklyon to discuss going to a house party, when Mr Synnott took a swing at him.
Mr Olin told the court he stood back and hit Mr Synnott once to defend himself.
Judge Coughlan said it was a Rangers and Celtic situation, he had a doubt and dismissed the charge.