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Friday 22 August 2014

GAA star waited outside nightclub for revenge after attack, court told

Greg Harkin

Published 12/07/2012 | 05:00

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Donegal GAA star Kevin Cassidy outside Letterkenny courthouse

A FORMER football All Star waited outside a nightclub for revenge after being viciously attacked, a court heard yesterday.

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Former Donegal player Kevin Cassidy (31), of Coteen, Derrybeg, admitted causing an affray with two or more other people and threatening unlawful violence in the incident at Gweedore on August 24, 2008.

The special needs teacher appeared at Letterkenny Circuit Court yesterday for sentencing along with four other men following the altercation outside The Dodge nightclub.

The TG4 football pundit was given 180 hours' community service in lieu of a six-month prison sentence.

The footballer's brother, Stephen Cassidy (37), of Upper Brinaleck, Gweedore, pleaded guilty to one count of assault causing harm after admitting biting part of the ear off another man. He was sentenced to 240 hours' community service in lieu of a 12-month jail term.

Three other men -- all brothers -- also appeared in court on charges relating to the same incident.

Shaun Maguire (28), of Ardsbeg, Gortahork, who lost part of his ear in the incident, pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening behaviour in a public place. He was sentenced to 50 hours' community service.

His brother, Michael Maguire (21), of the same address, pleaded guilty to causing an affray with two or more other people and threatening unlawful violence. He received 180 hours' community service.

And a third brother, Niall Maguire (26), also of the same address, was also given 180 hours' community service after he pleaded guilty to assault.

Blood

Garda Sergeant Jim Collins told yesterday's hearing that the street brawl between the Cassidys and the Maguires had started after Kevin Cassidy had been assaulted earlier in the evening inside the nightclub.

"There was blood pouring from his nose. He was roaring and shouting and saying that the Maguires had assaulted him inside the club," said Sgt Collins.

He said he had advised the Cassidy brothers to go home. But around an hour later he saw the Cassidy brothers jump down from a wall and run towards the Maguire brothers.

A brawl ensued in which Sgt Collins also received a number of punches to the head. Several other gardai had to assist him in breaking up the fight.

"Shaun Maguire was shouting that he had been bitten on the ear and blood was pouring from the wound," said Sgt Collins.

When the men were all arrested and questioned, all of them admitted being involved in a fracas, without specifically admitting any of the offences.

Judge John O'Hagan noted that the Cassidys and Maguires were sitting well apart in the courtroom.

"The Cassidys are in the blue corner and the Maguires are in the red corner. They were all in this together and they have all lost," he added.

The judge said it had been almost four years since the incident, none of the men had been before the court since and there were no previous offences of this nature and he said he would dispose of the case by issuing community service orders.

"I note some of these people are footballers and I hope Donegal football doesn't lose out this time," he added.

Kevin Cassidy, who plays club football with Gaoth Dobhair, had been at the centre of controversy in Donegal since being dropped from the county team last autumn after co-operating with a book on last season.

Cassidy was recalled to the squad last year by manager Jim McGuinness.

Irish Independent

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