Former All Star cleared of assaulting old Dublin teammate who feared he would be 'glassed'
A FORMER Dublin football All Star has been cleared of assaulting another ex-GAA player who claimed he had been intimidated and threatened by him in a pub.
Eamonn Heery (53) pleaded not guilty to assaulting Shane Dalton at Kavanagh's, on the Malahide Road, Dublin 3, on January 6 last year.
The prosecution did not allege that the assault was physical but that Mr Dalton feared he would be attacked following an exchange between the pair, some of which Mr Dalton recorded on his phone.
Mr Heery, of Foyle Road, Fairview, Dublin 3, did not have to give evidence during his trial at Dublin District Court.
Judge John Cheatle said that while Mr Heery made a potentially homophobic comment and his behaviour was unpleasant, there was no assault.
Mr Heery, now a director of an engineering firm, was awarded an All Star for his performances with Dublin in 1992 and has five Leinster title medals.
The former left half-back also won an All-Ireland Minor Football Championship medal with Dublin in 1982.
Mr Dalton told Judge Cheatle that he had been at Kavanagh's at about 9.30pm and rang a friend to come down because Mr Heery was in the bar and that made him feel intimidated.
He said he knew him from being involved with St Vincent's GAA club and that they had played together for Dublin.
Mr Dalton alleged that there was an exchange of words when Mr Heery went to the bar to get a drink.
He claimed that Mr Heery told him he would "get me or kill me" and "it was only a matter of time before he gets me".
He said he froze and said "I'm not afraid of you, Eamonn", to which he replied: "You are afraid of me."
Mr Dalton said he felt intimidated and leaned back and put his arms up in case something happened.
He said there was anger in Mr Heery's eyes and added: "I thought he might glass me or do something that might be aggressive."
Mr Dalton switched on the recorder on his mobile phone in case something did happen.
He said that 20 minutes later, Mr Heery and his family were about to leave when the accused approached him and made more comments.
The court heard that these related to an incident in 2015 when Mr Dalton chased a youth out of St Vincent's ground after he was allegedly verbally abused and gardai were called.
Mr Dalton claimed that Mr Heery said that if he did not get him the youth would, and he was in shock.
He said Mr Heery and his family then left the pub. He said he was intimidated and thought he might be attacked.
Defence counsel Keith Spencer put it to him that there had been an unrecorded part of the conversation in which Mr Dalton had told Mr Heery that he would get the youth next time, in reference to the earlier chase incident.
Mr Dalton denied saying that.
Counsel put it to him that his client had not said he would get him if he chased the youth again but the youth would get him himself. Mr Dalton disagreed.
However, he agreed that there was no effort to strike or lunge at him.
The audio recording from his phone was played in court. Judge Cheatle said he heard Mr Heery say "You won't even know what hit you" while the defence contended that he said: "Don't even know what happened to you."
Judge John Cheatle held that Mr Heery had not said he would get Mr Dalton.