Sunday 21 January 2018

Dubs star pays €5k to charities chosen by assault victim

Tom Tuite

AN All-Ireland winner has paid €5,000 to charities nominated by a man whose eye socket he fractured during an unprovoked attack in a pub.

Dublin star Diarmuid Connolly (25) assaulted Anthony Kelly at McGowan's public house in Phibsboro, Dublin, in the early hours of August 6 last year.

An unreserved apology, which was accepted by Mr Kelly, was issued by Connolly's lawyer last month during a hearing at Dublin District Court.

Mr Kelly shook hands with the footballer following that hearing but had refused the offer of compensation.

He had asked that the €5,000 offered would be split evenly and given to the Barnardos children's charity and the Rape Crisis Centre.

Yesterday, receipts showing that Connolly, of Collins Park, Beaumont, north Dublin, had complied with the request and had donated the money to the charities nominated by Mr Kelly were given to court.

The footballer, who also plays for north Dublin club St Vincent's, had not been required to attend the hearing and the case was adjourned until December for sentencing.

Michael Hanahoe, defending, told the court last month that his client "apologises unreservedly to Mr Kelly".

The attack happened less than two days after Dublin defeated Laois in a quarter-final of the All Ireland Senior Football Championship.

Connolly's offence carries a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine.

Judge Patrick Clyne said he was noting Connolly's early guilty plea, the compensation offer and the publicity surrounding the case.

The court was also told that Mr Kelly intends to take a civil action against the footballer.

Irish Independent

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