Ex-footballer gets seven years for unprovoked stab attack
A former professional footballer has been given a seven-and-a-half year sentence for an unprovoked stabbing which left the victim with a deep cut across his stomach and reduced mobility in his shoulder.
Trevor Donnelly (38) stabbed Keith Noone as the victim was climbing over railings in the middle of a verbal altercation between two groups of people outside a Dublin pub.
The row had started between a woman in Mr Noone's company and a female friend of Donnelly's, but the victim had nothing to do with it and was on his way home when he was attacked by the former Dundalk and Leeds player.
Donnelly, of Balrothery Estate, Tallaght, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal on the day of his trial to assault causing serious harm at the Village Inn Pub, Finglas on April 10, 2010.
He has six previous convictions, including road traffic and criminal damage offences.
The court heard that 10 years previously, Donnelly was left with a fractured skull after he was attacked with a baseball bat by Liam Byrne (32) of Raleigh Square, Crumlin.
Byrne was described in court last week as a member of an organised criminal gang.
Byrne was convicted by a Dublin Circuit Criminal Court jury in December 2000 of assaulting Donnelly causing him serious harm on April 23, 2000 and making a threat to Ms Jennifer Doyle that he would kill or cause serious harm to Mr Donnelly on that occasion.
The court heard that since 2000 Donnelly has lived in constant fear and has had shots fired at his house.
Judge Mary Ellen Ring sus- pended the final two years of Donnolly's sentence on strict conditions.
She said that there were "very few crimes more serious than the one visited on Keith Noone" and noted Donnelly had once been the victim of an "unwarranted attack" himself.
"Two wrongs do not make a right," she later commented.
The detective told Colman Fitzgerald, defending, that there was no suggestion that Donnelly was involved in organised crime himself.
Garda Keith McGrath told Fiona McGowan BL, prosecuting, that Mr Noone required 42 stitches across his stomach and chest area and seven stitches to his neck.
Mr Noone spent five days in hospital and has been left with reduced power and movement in his left shoulder. He has managed to compensate for this by building up his muscle in his shoulder but his mobility will worsen again as he gets older.
Donnelly was identified as the culprit and 11 days later came voluntarily to the station.