Man found guilty of assault against ex Ireland international

A jury took only 17 minutes this afternoon to return a unanimous guilty verdict in the case against a middle-aged man who denied a charge of assault causing serious harm to Miah Dennehy - the former Republic of Ireland soccer player.

A jury took only 17 minutes this afternoon to return a unanimous guilty verdict in the case against a middle-aged man who denied a charge of assault causing serious harm to Miah Dennehy - the former Republic of Ireland soccer player.

David Naughton (aged 54) from Avonmore Park, Mayfield, Cork city, pleaded not guilty to a charge assault causing serious harm to Miah Dennehy (aged 58) outside the Fob and Gill pub in Mayfield on August 17, 2007.

Naughton claimed that he was on two shots of insulin a day for diabetes and that hypoglycemia affected his behaviour on the night in question.

However, the jury of eight women and four men did not accept this defence and returned their unanimous verdict this afternoon on what was the third day of the trial.

Judge Seán Ó Donnabháin remanded Naughton in custody until tomorrow to consider the application for a probation report.

Defence senior counsel, Blaise O’Carroll, wanted a probation report to be prepared on the accused in advance of sentencing and he asked for the accused to be remanded on bail to allow him time to put personal affairs in order.

“I will consider it over night and remand him in custody over night,” the judge said.

Judge Ó Donnabháin questioned the rational behind ordering a probation report in a case where someone had pleaded not guilty as he said that the first issue that remorse was the first issue a probation officer would be trying to determine.

Before the jury retired to consider their verdict in the case the judge said that one of the issues they would have to determine was the contention by the defendant that his behaviour on the night was “a manifestation of a diabetic attack”.

Evidence was heard in the trial that Naughton told detectives the following day: “He is a good buddy of mine... Miah called me a scumbag and I hit him, he went back then, I hit him with my fist.

“If I could rewind the clock back. When I went to the bar I didn’t open my mouth to him… He was a good friend of mine. We were on great speaking terms.”

Miah Dennehey is one of the best known sports stars in Cork having played with Cork Hibernians in the late 1960s and early 1970s. He later played at Nottingham Forest, Walsall and Bristol Rovers while he was also capped by the Republic of Ireland 11 times and he also came on as a sub for a Shamrock Rovers XI vs Brazil in July 1973.

After his career cross-channel came to an end, Miah Dennehy returned to Ireland where he played League of Ireland with Thurles Town and Galway United as well as a number of junior clubs in Cork while he also played Gaelic football with St Vincent’s in the city.

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