Saturday 16 December 2017

Man held over knife attack on Dublin GAA star

Jonny Cooper during a press event last year
Jonny Cooper during a press event last year
Tom Brady

Tom Brady

The prime suspect for the frenzied stabbing attack on Dublin GAA star Jonny Cooper was being questioned by gardai last night.

He was arrested after officers received the results of forensic tests on clothing they had seized last week as well as a knife, which they believe to have been the weapon used in the shocking assault.

The suspect, who is from the west of Ireland, was taken out of Cloverhill prison in west Dublin by investigating officers and brought to Mountjoy garda station for questioning.

The suspect is being held in Cloverhill in relation to a separate offence.

He was arrested under section 42 of the Criminal Justice Act, 1999, and can be held in Mountjoy station without charge for up to 24 hours.

The arrest followed a close study of footage taken from CCTV cameras in the Dorset Street area of the city, where Mr Cooper was attacked last Saturday week. Forensic examinations were also carried out and investigators said help from the public had been of valuable assistance to them.

They said they were pleased with the response to their plea for help on the RTE CrimeCall programme a week ago.

The 24-year-old footballer was slashed nine times in the head, face and neck as he crouched down to protect himself.

One of the slashings was close to his eye socket.

Mr Cooper had been on a night out with friends at Copper Face Jacks nightclub in Harcourt Street, Dublin, after his club, Na Fianna, had played in the Dublin championship.

He was on his way home at around 5am the following morning and was sitting on steps outside a house in Dorset Street when his attacker ran across the road, and, totally unprovoked, began stabbing him and demanding his wallet.

The thug then ran off with the wallet, which contained very little money.

Gardai said all of the available evidence indicated that robbery was the sole motive but they were shocked by the sustained violence of the stabbing.

Officers were anxious for an early arrest as they feared in the early stages of their inquiries that the attacker could strike again.

Mr Cooper was hospitalised but was allowed home after treatment. He is now recovering from his injuries.

His sister, Jules said: "Jonny is extremely lucky and he's doing well. He is quite a strong character and is in good form".

Irish Independent

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