By Liam Heylin
A 26-year-old League of Ireland soccer player who also played cross-channel blew cigarette smoke into the faces of gardaí in Cork and warned he would randomly assault a member of the public if they did not arrest him.
This was just of a number of public order incidents to which Jordan Keegan pleaded guilty yesterday at Cork District Court.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said:“He had a tremendous football career. From the age of 16 to 18 he was in the Southampton youth academy. He played for Scunthorpe. He returned to Ireland and played for four League of Ireland teams: St Patrick’s Athletic, Dundalk, Shelbourne and Monaghan.
“He lost a very good football career over alcohol. He went to England at a very young age. That may have been a factor. It is an unfortunate state of affairs. He is in AA again, attending meetings every day. He comes across as a very decent man.”
On a positive side, Keegan is about to return to playing soccer now he is off drink.
Judge Olann Kelleher heard the background to the public order incidents as well as the mitigation evidence and said the accused could do 150 hours of community service instead of three months in jail.
Inspector Finbarr O’Sullivan said that on March 17 gardaí were dealing with a situation where a man was waiting for an ambulance and Keegan arrived at the scene, told Garda Deirdre Hayes to fuck off and blew smoke into her face. He told Garda Hayes and her colleague he would randomly assault a member of the public if not arrested immediately. He was arrested and charged with engaging in threatening behaviour and being drunk and a danger.
On March 10 at Lancaster Quay, the accused was also in trouble when he was verbally abusive and insulting to members of the public.
Finally, on June 30, at Cove St, he was threatening and abusive to security staff at the Flying Enterprise.
The accused told gardaí to fuck off. He was shouting at other parties, “I’m going to kill them faggotts.”
In this third incident, he was prosecuted for the same two offences: Engaging in threatening behaviour and being drunk and a danger.
Frank Buttimer, solicitor, said Keegan of Croftwood Grove, Ballyfermot, Dublin, was living in Cork for the past two years.