Tuesday 17 October 2017

Cooper cheers on the ladies as gardai close in on stab suspect

Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper, centre, watches the ladies’ All-Ireland final between Cork and Dublin at Croke Park yesterday. He is still recovering from an unprovoked knife attack.
Dublin footballer Jonny Cooper, centre, watches the ladies’ All-Ireland final between Cork and Dublin at Croke Park yesterday. He is still recovering from an unprovoked knife attack.
Conor Feehan

Conor Feehan

The Dublin GAA star who was the victim of a brutal attack made his first public appearance yesterday as gardai closed in on his suspected attacker.

Jonny Cooper (24), who plays for Na Fianna, needed up to 30 stitches after he was stabbed in the head, face and neck while sitting on steps in Dorset Street, over a week ago.

While he went to Croke Park to cheer on the Dublin ladies team yesterday, it emerged that the chief suspect in the stabbing of the Dublin star could be charged within hours.

The investigation into the brutal attack is now at an advanced stage after it emerged that the man thought to be responsible was arrested by gardai for a different incident on the same night and brought into custody.

It is now expected that gardai from Mountjoy Station will get a warrant to arrest this man in prison today and question him about the unprovoked attack on the Dublin defender and All-Ireland medallist.

A major breakthrough was made in the case when gardai issued a CCTV image of the man they wanted to interview.

Gardai, who had arrested a man the following day in relation to an incident the same night Jonny was stabbed, suspected the man they had in custody matched the description.

"The investigation is at a crucial stage and we can expect developments imminently," a senior source said.

The attack took place at 5am on Saturday September 20. CCTV footage recorded the attacker following Cooper and looping back to attack him after he stopped for a rest.

His attacker demanded his wallet and stabbed him repeatedly.

Cooper was finding walking difficult at the time because of a sporting injury.

A taxi driver who found Cooper stopped to give him help and called 999.

He was rushed to hospital but discharged later when all his wounds had been stitched.

Jonny was well enough to watch the All-Ireland final between Kerry and Donegal from home surrounded by his family.

The two-time All-Ireland medallist also tweeted his thanks to all his fans and well-wishers who had expressed their shock at the attack.

Irish Independent

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