Football match assault charges are dismissed
CHARGES of assault against a university student arising out of an incident during the Mayo under-21 Championship football final of 2003, in which an opposing player received a fractured jaw and broken teeth, were dismissed by a district court judge yesterday.
Video evidence of the incident, in which Michael Colleran (17), a member of the Ballaghaderreen team, claimed he was "intentionally clocked" by Knockmore captain Jason Coy, of Garracloon, Cloghans, Ballina, was seen earlier by Judge Mary Devins, who had adjourned her decision to Castlebar Court yesterday.
Coy was charged with assaulting Colleran, causing harm, by striking him with an elbow five minutes into the second half. He had pleaded not guilty to the charge.
Michael Colleran told an earlier court that during the game on November 9, 2003 he was "trying to block" Coy, the Knockmore No 2, when he was hit by Coy's elbow.
"He just swung it back. He knew I was there," Mr Colleran said. He had been seriously injured in the incident and medical treatment was ongoing.
Philip O'Grady, a forward on the Ballaghaderreen team, said the incident occurred in the Knockmore half. Colleran had the ball and had laid it off. Coy had come across, looked over his shoulder, saw Michael and hit him. Michael was mumbling: "My jaw, my jaw, my teeth."
The witness said he had to go to the referee, Michael Vahey, to tell him of the incident as the referee had not seen it.
Jason Coy, in evidence, said he had not tackled any player with the intention of injuring him.
Coy said that from watching the video he could see Colleran was on his back. He did not know he had made contact with him.
At yesterday's resumed hearing, Judge Devins dismissed the charge of assault against Coy.
Judge Devins, in dismissing the case, stated: "I do not consider the defendant had the intention to inflict such an injury.
"He used his elbow in an unsporting fashion, allegedly unseen by the referee or other match officials."