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Hurler left bloodied and bruised after vicious gang attack

A well-known county hurler turned up at a garda station last Christmas with his head bloodied and bruised after being struck by a beer glass and a stick.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, a garda statement by former Clare hurler Alan Markham told about how he and his friend, Sean Hogan, gave chase to three youths after Markham was the victim of an unprovoked attack when he was struck on the side of the head with a pint glass.

The attack occurred after 3am at Abbey Street car park in Ennis as Mr Markham was walking along with Mr Hogan and his wife at the start of the Christmas period on December 21.

State Counsel Stephen Coughlan, BL, said that when Mr Markham later that morning presented himself at Ennis Garda Station "he was bleeding heavily from the side of his head and had a large bruise or lump on his forehead".

Mr Markham was transferred to University College Hospital Limerick by ambulance.

Earlier, after being struck with the beer glass by Jordan Whelan (18), of Dun na hInse, Ennis, accompanied by two others - Evan Toomey (18), of Oak Park, Watery Rd, Ennis, and Shane McCarthy, of Shallee Drive, Cloughleigh, Ennis - Mr Markham and Mr Hogan gave chase.

fighting

Mr Markham said that they chased the three to the nearby Colaiste Muire secondary girls' school "when the three turned back on us and started fighting".

"I was hit by a stick in the forehead and across my legs a few times. I also got a few boxes from a fella wearing a blue top," he said.

"I was knocked to the ground and received a number of kicks to my body. I just lay on the ground and covered my head. I am not sure how many of them were kicking me."

Mr Markham said that when the assault stopped and he got to his feet a demand for money was made.

In the case, Jordan pleaded guilty to assaulting Mr Markham and robbing him of €75. McCarthy also pleaded guilty to robbing Mr Markham while Toomey - who has 56 previous offences - pleaded guilty to robbing Mr Hogan.

Mr Markham played in the victorious Clare team that beat Waterford in the 1998 Munster final while it was only confirmed last week that he is to be part of the Clare Minor management team for 2015.

Judge Gerald Keyes has adjourned sentencing, remanding Whelan on bail.

hnews@herald.ie


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