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Pub assault Dubs star told to coach kids

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Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Courtpix

Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Courtpix

Diarmuid Connolly. Photo: Courtpix

A JUDGE has ordered Dublin football star Diarmuid Connolly to spend 80 hours teaching GAA to children following an unprovoked attack on a man in a pub.

Connolly (26) had earlier pleaded guilty to assault causing harm to Anthony Kelly - who suffered a fractured eye-socket - at McGowan’s pub in Phibsboro, Dublin on August 6, 2012.

An unreserved apology, which was accepted by Mr Kelly, had been issued by Connolly’s lawyer during a hearing last year at Dublin District Court.

donation

Mr Kelly had refused to accept compensation from him, so the footballer gave €5,000 to Barnardos children’s charity and the Rape Crisis Centre instead.

Connolly had also been ordered to complete an anger-management course and a probation report was sought by Judge Patrick Clyne, who has described the attack as unprovoked.

The judge also pointed out that Connolly had donated to charities sums of money which were considerably greater than the maximum fine the district court could impose.

Yesterday, the case resumed and Judge Clyne read the report as well as documentation in relation to the anger-management course.

Judge Clyne said he wanted Connolly to do 80 hours of voluntary service teaching children GAA over the summer.

Defence solicitor Michael Hanahoe said his client, who did not address the court yesterday, “is happy to do it, proud to do it and willing to do it”.

The case was adjourned until September.

Earlier, the All-Ireland winning forward’s lawyer had told the court that Connolly “apologises unreservedly to Mr Kelly”.

Connolly had also shaken hands with the victim who had accepted his apology at an earlier stage in the case.

The attack happened less than two days after Dublin defeated Laois in a quarter-final of the 2012 All Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Connolly, who also plays for north Dublin club St Vincent’s, has no prior criminal convictions, and his offence carries a possible sentence of up to one year.

In an outline of the prosecution’s evidence given earlier, the court had been told that the attack happened at 3.40am in McGowan’s pub.

punch

“It is alleged that the injured party was socialising with a friend, and that the accused assaulted him in an unprovoked attack,” Judge Clyne heard.

Connolly, who has an address at Collins Park, Beaumont, north Dublin, “punched Mr Kelly in the face”.

Mr Kelly, who is in his thirties, was knocked down and Connolly then “continued to punch him on the ground”.

Mr Kelly suffered a fractured eye socket during the attack, but he has recovered, the district court has heard.

hnews@herald.ie


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