Pundit ‘not guilty’ of drink-driving

Former Dublin Gaelic football star and TV sports pundit Senan Connell appeared in court yesterday to plead not guilty to drink-driving.

Pundit ‘not guilty’ of drink-driving

School-teacher, Senan Connell, who regularly appears on an expert panel on Sky Sports and writes GAA analysis pieces for newspapers, was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in Dublin on September 21 last.

The former Dublin forward was brought to Store Street Garda Station in Dublin city centre. He had then been charged and bailed to appear before Judge Anthony Halpin at Dublin District Court yesterday.

Connell was a member of Dublin senior football panel from 1998-2006 and picked up Leinster Championship honours playing for his county and his club, Na Fianna. The 41-year-old, with an address at Bealing Grove, Tyrellstown, Dublin 15, is accused of drink-driving at the Finglas Road, on September 21 last. The offence is under the Road Traffic Act and can carry a fine, jail sentence and a road ban.

A certificate detailing the evidence of his arrest and being charged was handed in to Judge Halpin.

Dressed in a grey suit, white shirt, blue tie and brown shoes, Mr Connell stood at the back of the courtroom holding an umbrella until his case was called. He remained silent during the proceedings and his solicitor Michael Hanahoe addressed the court on his behalf.

Judge Halpin was told a summary of the prosecution’s evidence had been served on Mr Connell’s solicitor.

Mr Hanahoe asked for “an early hearing date please, as early as possible”, indicating the charge will be contested. The district court trial will take place next month, Judge Halpin ordered.

The alleged incident occurred a day after Dublin’s victory over Kerry in the All-Ireland football final.

It was not indicated during yesterday’s proceedings whether his prosecution will be affected by the recent High Court ruling that put hundreds of suspected drink-driving cases in doubt by stating alcohol breath tests must be supplied in English and Irish.

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