Dublin football star Diarmuid Connolly “acted despicably,” and “cynically avoided service” on him of personal injuries proceedings alleging he assaulted Anthony Kelly five years ago, the Circuit Civil Court heard yesterday.
Mr Kelly’s solicitor, Robert Dore, said Mr Connolly had “brutally assaulted” Mr Kelly in McGowan’s pub, Phibsborough, in August 2012 and later pleaded guilty in the district court to a criminal charge under the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act.
Mr Dore told Judge Jacqueline Linnane that, arising out of “this vicious assault”, Mr Connolly had been prosecuted in the district court .
Mr Dore said the case against Mr Connolly had been dismissed on the basis he had attended an anger management course; that he had done community service by way of coaching children in Gaelic football, and that he had paid €5,000 to Mr Kelly, who gave the money to charity.
Mr Dore, whose proceedings yesterday were brought ex parte where Mr Connolly and ME Hanahoe Solicitors were not represented in court, told Judge Linnane that, on April 24, 2015, the Injuries Board had made an assessment of damages against Mr Connolly in favour of Mr Kelly for €46,815.
“Given the serious nature of the injuries sustained by (Mr Kelly), he declined this assessment,” said Mr Dore.
“Ultimately an authorisation under section 32 of the Personal Injuries Assessment Board Acts… authorised (Mr Kelly) to bring proceedings against Mr Connolly.”
Mr Dore said a personal injuries summons against Mr Connolly and Cavalier Taverns, trading as McGowan’s, was issued in Dublin Circuit Court on November 25, 2015. On March 15, 2016, he had written to ME Hanahoe, enclosing a copy of it and asking that it would confirm it had authority to accept service of the summons on behalf of Mr Connolly.
The next day, said Mr Dore, ME Hanahoe replied that it had written to its client for instructions. On April 22, 2016, he again wrote to ME Hanahoe stating that as it had failed to revert, personal service on Mr Connolly would be affected.
Mr Dore described several unsuccessful attempts to serve Mr Connolly, including via ME Hanahoe and by hiring a private investigator, who discovered Mr Connolly now lived at Clanranald Rd, Donnycarney, Dublin 5.
Then, considering “circumstances where [Mr Connolly] has deliberately thwarted [Mr Kelly] in advancing his proceedings, by cynically avoiding service of the proceedings on him, despite his assurances to the district court on foot of which a prosecution against him was dismissed”, he asked the court for an order extending time for service of the personal injury summons on Connolly.
Judge Linnane said she had no problem renewing the personal injuries summons, which claims damages of up to €60,000, as against Mr Connolly for another six months and extending time for service of it .
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