Man charged with assaulting former Irish soccer international

A middle-aged man was charged today with assault causing serious harm to former Republic of Ireland soccer international, Miah Dennehy, last summer.

Mr Dennehy was in a critical condition in hospital for several weeks following an assault last August.

He sustained serious head injuries and spent five weeks in a coma in intensive care at Cork University Hospital.

He then spent another four months in hospital before being discharged to the National Rehabilitation Centre in Dun Laoghaire where he remains.

David Naughton, 52, from Avonmore Park, Mayfield in Cork city was today charged with assault causing serious harm to Miah Dennehy (aged 57) outside the Fob and Gill pub in Mayfield on August 17, 2007, a charge brought under the Non-fatal Offences Against the Person Act.

At Cork District Court, Sgt Sean O’Regan gave evidence of arresting and charging Mr Naughton with the offence.

After being cautioned that he did not have to say anything but anything he might say could be given in evidence, he replied 'Not Guilty', Sgt O’Regan testified.

Inspector Pat Lehane said that the Director of Public Prosecutions had directed that the case should proceed by indictment at Cork Circuit Criminal Court.

There was no prosecution objection to the accused being remanded on bail.

Judge Con O’Leary remanded Naughton on his own bail of €500 to appear again at Cork District Court on March 4 for service of the book of evidence.

Judge O’Leary also granted Mr Naughton free legal aid after hearing he was on disability allowance.

Miah Dennehey is one of the best known sports stars in Cork having played with Cork Hibernians in the late 1960s and early 1970s and also with Nottingham Forest, Walsall and Bristol Rovers while he was also capped by the Republic of Ireland eleven times.

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