Tuesday 16 January 2018

'It made me appreciate life more' - Dublin star Jonny Cooper speaks about vicious, unprovoked knife attack

Dublin's Johnny Cooper holds the Sam Maguire cup with his father Brendan Picture: Damien Eagers
Dublin's Johnny Cooper holds the Sam Maguire cup with his father Brendan Picture: Damien Eagers
Melanie Finn

Melanie Finn

All-Ireland winner Jonny Cooper has said a horrific assault made him appreciate life all the more.

The Dublin GAA player (26) has spoken out about the attack in September 2014, where a man high on crystal meth stabbed him in the face on Dorset Street.

Mark Lavelle, who had 62 previous convictions, was last year sentenced to seven years in prison with the last two suspended.

Jonny said he had moved on from what happened.


“I’ve parked it but it always comes back up and it’s always a great reminder for me that some days aren’t going to be as rosy as being in Croke Park at an All-Ireland final with your team-mates.

“So it’s just important for me to appreciate everything I have that little bit more, especially on occasions like that. Both my mam and dad were there in Croke Park so it was great to share those particular moments with them, after all their support and what they went through.”

He said that he moved on “within two or three weeks”.

“I went straight back into doing things with family that I enjoy. It gives me a good grounding and appreciation of everything that I have,” he said.

The sports star was one of the keynote speakers at the opening day of Zeminar, a three-day event for young people at the RDS.

During his talk, Jonny said he got 310 points in his Leaving Cert as he was so busy concentrating on sport so he took a round-about route into DCU.

“I always believed that once I got into that environment, I’d prosper and excel,” he said. “You don’t have to be perfect straight away and it took me a couple of years to figure out the areas of my life that were important.”


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