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Saturday 29 April 2017

No charge for teen (16) after GAA brawl left student with a broken leg

Conor Hayes in Hospital in Drogheda
Conor Hayes in Hospital in Drogheda

Ryan Nugent

A teenager has avoided a criminal conviction after being questioned in relation to an incident during a GAA match.

Conor Cribbin-Hayes (17), from Kildalkey, Co Meath, was hospitalised with a double leg break following an alleged assault during a match between Conor’s club, Clann na nGael of Athboy-Rathcairn, and Gaeil Colmcille, Kells.

It is understood his injuries were the result of a 12-player melee during a league semi-final between the two clubs in Rathcairn on September 17.

The incident took place with 10 minutes to go in the Gaelic football match.

However, a 16-year-old boy was questioned by Kells gardai in relation to the incident and subsequently dealt with by the Garda Juvenile Diversion Programme (JDP) – which is, in effect, a caution.

A garda source told the Herald that, because the individual is under 18 and did not have any previous convictions, he may have been dealt with less severely. The arrest was made on October 28.

Leaving Cert student Conor is still on crutches and wearing a protective boot around his right leg more than three months after the assault took place.

Despite the severe injuries, his family has not been contacted by the Meath County Board in relation to any sanctions over the incident.

It is understood both Croke Park and Meath GAA have been contacted by the family, who are yet to receive any concrete answers and are reliant on rumours in relation to any bans.

Speaking at the time of the incident, Conor’s father, William, said the injury had severely hampered Conor’s chances of acquiring an elusive college scholarship when he finishes school in 2017.

Along with Gaelic football, Conor is also an accomplished hurler and rugby player.

“He’s got two broken bones in his right leg. To do that sort of damage is a motorbike accident, a horse landing on top of you or falling off a roof,” Mr Hayes said in September.

Despite the long-term setback, it is believed that an opportunity may arise for a scholarship with one of the bigger colleges in 2018, if Conor can prove his fitness.

It is unclear how long his injury will take to heal fully.

Herald

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