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Teen walks free after attacking hurler with glass

An 18-year old youth who struck former Clare hurler, Alan Markham with a beer glass in an unprovoked attack walked free from court.

The Munster senior title winning hurler turned up at Ennis Garda station with his head bloodied and bruised after being struck by a beer glass and a stick just before Christmas last year.

Jordan Whelan (18) of Dun na hInse, Ennis, pleaded guilty to robbing Mr Markham of €75 on December 21 at the Colaiste Muire in Ennis.

At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, Judge Gerald Keyes said that Mr Markham along with Sean Hogan and his wife were minding their own business when Mr Markham was suddenly struck on the head with a glass by Mr Whelan.

Chase

Mr Markham and Mr Hogan gave chase to Whelan and two accomplices and according to Mr Markham "the three tuned back on us and started fighting".

"I was hit by a stick in the forehead and across my legs a few times," Mr Markham said in his Garda statement.

"I also got a few boxes from a fella wearing a blue top. 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 the assault stopped and he got to his feet a demand for money was made.

"I handed over €50 and one of them checked my pockets and took out €25," he said.

Mr Markham - who wasn't in court yesterday - played in the victorious Clare team that beat Waterford in the 1998 Munster final while it was only recently confirmed that he is to be part of the Clare minor management team for 2015.

Mr Hogan was also robbed of €100 and a co-accused, Evan Toomey (18) of Oak Park, Watery Rd, Ennis, pleaded guilty to his robbery.

In deciding not to impose a jail term on Mr Jordan, Judge Keyes said: "I am conscious that Mr Whelan has no previous convictions.

"I hold the view that when one gets into trouble for the first time, one should be given an opportunity. I am now giving you that opportunity," Judge Keyes told Mr Whelan.

"What I am prepared to do at this stage because of your good record and this one isolated incident which has brought you before the court, I am going to put the case back for one year," Judge Keyes said.

Effort

"You are unable to explain your actions on the night in question. I am told you have made some efforts to make an apology to Mr Markham for your behaviour," he said.

Judge Keyes said that both Mr Whelan and Mr Toomey have shown remorse for their actions and regret what happened.

"You are a cannabis user and I am told when it is mixed with alcohol, it might explain your unacceptable conduct," the judge told Whelan.

Judge Keyes said that Mr Whelan is to stay away from drugs and alcohol over the next year.

"If you step out of line, I am telling you, you will go to jail," he said.

In relation to Mr Toomey, Judge Keyes said that he has a bad record and committed offences since December last and imposed a two-year prison term.

hnews@herald.ie


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