Dublin football star broke man’s eye socket in pub assault

Dublin footballer Diarmuid Connolly has admitted breaking a man’s eye socket in an unprovoked attack in a pub.

Dublin football star broke man’s eye socket in pub assault

The 25-year-old, who is on bail, had been charged earlier with assault causing harm to Anthony Kelly at McGowan’s pub in Phibsboro, Dublin, in the early hours of Aug 6 last.

The attack happened less than two days after Dublin beat Laois in a quarter-final of the All-Ireland.

Connolly, who has been tipped as a frontrunner to take over from Bryan Cullen as Dublin captain for the 2013 season, was in court yesterday. The DPP had decided that the case should be dealt with summarily in the district court on a guilty plea only. Otherwise it would have to be referred to the circuit court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

Connolly’s solicitor Michael Hanahoe told Judge Patrick Clyne his client was pleading guilty.

In an outline of the prosecution’s evidence, Judge Clyne was told that the attack happened at 3.40am.

“It is alleged that the injured party was socialising with a friend, it would be alleged that the accused assaulted him in an unprovoked attack,” the court heard.

Judge Clyne was told that Connolly, of Collins Park, Beaumont, punched Mr Kelly in the face. Mr Kelly was knocked down and Connolly “continued to punch him on the ground”. Mr Kelly suffered facial injuries including a fractured eye socket during the attack but “everything has cleared up now”, the court heard.

A medical report and photographs of his injuries were handed to the judge who decided to accept jurisdiction to deal with the case after hearing that Mr Kelly had recovered.

Mr Hanahoe asked for an adjournment saying “there are avenues to explore” and that he needed to speak to the prosecuting garda, Aidan Noonan.

Neither Connolly nor the victim were asked to address the court.

Connolly, who also plays for St Vincent’s, has no prior criminal convictions, the judge said.

Judge Clyne retained a copy of the medical report and the photographs of the victim’s injuries. Sentencing was adjourned and the case will resume next month. A district court conviction for assault causing harm can carry a possible sentence of up to one year in jail and/or a fine.

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