Man denies causing serious harm to Dennehy in assault

A MIDDLE-AGED man yesterday denied a charge of 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 Dún Laoghaire, where he remains.

David Naughton, 52, of Avonmore Park, Mayfield, Cork, was yesterday charged with assault causing serious harm to Miah Dennehy, 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 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 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. The judge granted Mr Naughton free legal aid to be represented by Graham Hyde.

Miah Dennehy is one of Cork’s best-known sports stars. He was the first player to score a hat-trick in an FAI Cup final when he scored all three goals in Cork Hibernians’s 3-0 win over Waterford in 1972.

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