Dublin star admits unprovoked attack

A date will be set this month for the sentencing of Dublin football star Diarmuid Connolly over an unprovoked attack in which a man suffered a fractured eye-socket.

Dublin star admits unprovoked attack

Connolly, aged 25, of Collins Park, Beaumont, Dublin, had pleaded guilty earlier to assault causing harm to Anthony Kelly at McGowan’s public house in Phibsboro, in the early hours of Aug 6 last year.

An unreserved apology, which was accepted by Mr Kelly, had been issued by Connolly’s lawyer last May during a hearing at Dublin District Court.

Mr Kelly had also shook hands with Connolly following that hearing but had refused to accept compensation from him. Instead the footballer paid €5,000 to Barnardos children’s charity and the Rape Crisis Centre.

Yesterday, the footballer appeared again at Dublin District Court before Judge Michael Walsh. However, he granted an adjournment to allow the case to be listed for the attention of Judge Patrick Clyne, who had heard the evidence.

Dublin District Court also heard yesterday that Mr Kelly wanted “to give victim impact evidence”.

The court will fix a date for Judge Clyne to deal with sentencing on Dec 20.

Earlier, solicitor Michael Hanahoe had told the court that Connolly “apologises unreservedly to Mr Kelly”.

The attack happened less than two days after Dublin defeated Laois in a quarter-final of the 2012 All-Ireland Senior Football Championship

Connolly, who plays for north Dublin club St Vincent’s, has no prior criminal convictions, and his offence carries a possible sentence of up to one year.

In an outline of the prosecution’s evidence given earlier, the court had been told that the attack happened at 3.40am in McGowan’s pub.

“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,” Judge Patrick Clyne has heard.

Mr Kelly suffered a fractured eye socket during the attack, but has recovered, the district court has heard.

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