GAA player got groin injury during game, court hears

Thu, Oct 25, 2012, 01:00

A YOUNG footballer’s scrotum was torn open during a GAA minor championship match in Meath three years ago, Trim Circuit Court heard yesterday.

Darren Morgan (21), Elm Grove, Rockfield, Kells, pleaded not guilty to assault causing harm to Sean Ryan, Garristown, at Skryne GAA grounds, Dunshaughlin, on September 25th, 2009. The defendant had been playing fullback for Round Towers of Kells and the complainant had been playing half forward for St Vincent’s, Curraha, in the semi-final of the county championship at the time.

Mr Ryan told Carl Hanahoe, prosecuting, there had been a bad challenge by one of his team-mates and the defendant had come through an ensuing scuffle of players, grabbed him and knocked him to the ground.

Later the defendant had made a groin-grabbing gesture to the player, who was marking the complainant, but that player shook his head, according to Mr Ryan.

A short time later Mr Ryan scored a goal and following this he was assaulted by the defendant, the court heard.

“He came up and squared up to me as if he was going to headbutt me but instead he grabbed my testicles, squeezed and pulled. He laughed at me. I looked into my shorts and there was no scrotum there,” he said.

The court heard Mr Ryan was given first aid in the dressing room, where he went into a panic attack, before being taken by ambulance to Our Lady’s Hospital in Navan, where his wound was stitched. He was released from hospital after a number of days.

Replying to Breffni Gordon, defending, Mr Ryan said he had stood his ground when the defendant confronted him and following the attack, he was in “excruciating pain”.

The barrister said his client conceded he had put his hands on Mr Ryan and caused him damage but had not meant to cause him injury.

Garda Shane Dooley gave evidence of taking statements from the accused in which Mr Morgan claimed any contact between the two players had been within the rules of the game and accidental.

Mr Morgan told the garda a number of players had gone for the ball but Mr Ryan won it. The defendant said he had been on his knees and was trying to stop Mr Ryan. “I grabbed him by the balls – I meant to grab his shorts or jersey. I didn’t mean to grab so hard. Then he had his hands on his hips and was making sore faces.” The trial continues.