An 18-year-old Ennis youth who struck former Clare hurler Alan Markham with a beer glass in an unprovoked attack yesterday walked free from court.
In Christmas of last year, the Munster senior title winning hurler turned up at Ennis Garda station with his head bloodied and bruised after being struck by a beer glass and a stick.
In the case, Jordan Whelan, 18, of Dun na hInse, Ennis, pleaded guilty to robbing Mr Markham of €75 on December 21 at the Coláiste Muire in Ennis.
At Ennis Circuit Court yesterday, Judge Gerald Keyes said that Mr Markham along with Sean Hogan and his wife were minding their own business when Mr Markham was suddenly struck on the head with a glass by Mr Whelan.
Mr Markham and Mr Hogan gave chase to Mr Whelan and two accomplices and according to Mr Markham “the three tuned back on us and started fighting”.
In his Garda statement Mr Markham said: “I was hit by a stick in the forehead and across my legs a few times. I also got a few boxes from a fella wearing a blue top. I was knocked to the ground and received a number of kicks to my body. I just lay on the ground and covered my head. I am not sure how many of them were kicking me.”
Mr Markham said that the assault stopped and when he got to his feet a demand for money was made.
He said: “I handed over €50 and one of them checked my pockets and took out €25.”
In deciding not to impose a jail term on Mr Whelan, Judge Keyes said: “I hold the view that when one gets into trouble for the first time, one should be given an opportunity. I am now giving you that opportunity.”
He said: “If you step out of line, I am telling you, you will go to jail.”
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