Player punched man on other team over tackle

A soccer player took exception to a foul tackle on a teammate and came across the pitch and punched the opponent knocking him unconscious.

Gary O’Mahony, aged 28, of Cherrytree Road, Togher, Cork, pleaded guilty to a charge of assault causing harm to another young man during a match on Saturday, November 11, 2017.

Detective Sgt Tim Murphy told Cork Circuit Criminal Court that Gary O’Mahony was playing for Pearse Celtic and the injured party was playing for a team from UCC where he was studying for his final year exams. 

“It wasn’t a dirty game. In the second half, the injured party committed kind of a nasty foul on a player from Pearse Celtic. 

"The defendant ran over and punched him once in the side of the face. He connected with him and knocked him unconscious.”

The injured party was removed to CUH where he had concussion, loose teeth, damage to his right eye, and had to have surgery to repair fractures to his cheekbone.

The detective said O’Mahony later presented at Togher Garda Station and effectively put his hands up and said he had punched the other man. 

The defendant made this admission without requiring legal advice and said his actions were unacceptable.

O’Mahony has been suspended from playing soccer for three years as a result of the assault. He also gathered €2,300 for the injured party.

In a victim impact statement, the injured party said the assault had a significant impact on him physically and emotionally and that he missed out on a series of job interviews because of his injuries and these could not be rescheduled.

He also said he believed the grade he achieved in his finals was lower than he had hoped and he attributed this to the fallout from his injuries. 

He was also at a financial loss as he said his health insurer refused to pay for his medical care because it involved a third party.

Judge Gerard O’Brien said it was a salutary lesson one blow could change someone’s life and could have had even more serious consequences.

After hearing all the evidence, he gave him O’Mahony benefit of a dismissal under the Probation of Offenders Act.

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