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GAA player faces jail for assaulting umpire with a hurley during game

CourtsBy Sunday World
Mr O'Connor suffered a broken thumb and bruising to his body when he was struck "at least three or four times" with the hurley
Mr O'Connor suffered a broken thumb and bruising to his body when he was struck "at least three or four times" with the hurley

A GAA player who "lost it" at a hurling match and struck an umpire repeatedly with a hurley on the body and hand faces having to pay thousands of euro in damages to his victim.

Anthony O'Grady (39) was told by a judge that there was enough evidence to send him to jail for the assault, which took place during an intermediate hurling league final in Kerry in November of last year.

Mr O'Grady, of Ardoughter, Ballyduff, admits assaulting Kieran O'Connor (44), causing him harm at Kilmoyley GAA grounds, Ardfert, on November 16, 2014.

Mr O'Connor suffered a broken thumb and bruising to his body when he was struck "at least three or four times" with the hurley.

The incident occurred 10 minutes into the second half of the Division 2 intermediate hurling league final between Causeway and Ladies Walk GAA Club in Ballyduff.

Tralee District Court heard that the accused man, who works as a foreman in Ireland and the UK and was corner back for Ballyduff, "lost it" when he disputed the decision of the umpire that disallowed a point to his side. His solicitor, Padraig O'Connell, said: "He regrets losing it and he's not here to excuse anything."

He added that his client would not be disputing any expenses the injured party incurred as a result of his injuries.

The court heard that Mr O'Connor was taken from the game, which was abandoned, to the emergency department of Kerry General Hospital and later made a statement at Listowel garda station, where his injuries were photographed.

He told the court he was in a cast for between six to eight weeks, had missed work as a result and was still attending a physiotherapist.

His loss of earnings amounted to between €2,000 and €2,500, he had incurred travel expenses of around €750 and other medical fees, which he paid out of his own pocket.

Judge James O'Connor described the case as a "nasty matter" and adjourned it to a sitting of the court in December to allow time for Mr O'Connor's financial losses to be assessed.

He said he would also be taking his pain and suffering into account.

"There's enough here for me to send you off to jail," he warned the defendant.

Via Majella O'Sullivan/Independent.ie