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Top hurler appears in court over 'hit and run' incident

A FORMER two-time All-Star hurler was yesterday charged in connection with a hit and run last year.

Retired former Limerick hurling captain Mark Foley (35), who denies the charges, appeared on foot of a garda summons after allegedly telling gardai he knocked down a 24-year-old man on October 16, 2010.

Mr Foley is the county's most capped championship hurler, with 47 appearances under his belt including in the 2007 All Ireland at wing back.

He is charged with failing to stop at the scene of an accident, failing to remain at the scene of an accident, failing to give appropriate information to a garda, and failing to report a road traffic accident.

Gardai told Newcastle West District Court that Mr Foley said "I hit a man" at around 2.30am while driving on the N21.

The court heard Mr Foley, of Abbeyview, Adare, Co Limerick, told gardai: "I hit a man who was walking on the road. He was just inside the yellow line. I was driving my own car, (a Mercedes C Class 200).

"I went forward 50 yards. I stopped and went back to see if he was okay. I then took him to hospital."

Garda Brian O'Leary told the court that, at around 3.30am on October 16, 2010, Roxboro Road garda station, Limerick, was contacted by the Mid-Western Regional Hospital about two men who had presented there following a road accident.

Gda O'Leary said that when he arrived at the hospital he noticed damage to Mr Foley's car.

The garda agreed with Turlough Herbert, solicitor for Mr Foley and also a former Limerick hurling teammate, that the accused was found by gardai in a waiting room off the A&E department of the hospital. He also agreed that gardai had "no difficulty" in finding Mr Foley.

Gda O'Leary arrested and cautioned Mr Foley and brought him to Newcastle West garda station so that the accused could show gardai the location of where he had "hit the man".

The injured party, Arturas Grabliauskas (24), originally from Lithuania, who had been living in Rathkeale, Co Limerick, at the time, told the court the last thing he remembered was walking into a pub in Newcastle West at around 8pm on October 15, 2010 and waking up in hospital the following day.

Evidence is due to continue in the hearing at Newcastle West District Court next month.

Irish Independent