Professional footballer Anthony Stokes has appeared in court accused of head-butting a man in a Temple Bar pub during the St Patrick's festival last year.
The 31-year-old former Celtic striker and Republic of Ireland star from Dublin, who has just finished a six-month stint with Iranian club Persepolis, claims he acted in self-defence.
He is accused of assault causing harm to a named man at Fitzgerald’s pub on Aston Quay, Dublin 2, on March 16th, 2019.
The charge is under section three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act
Mr Stokes, who has an address at Wyckham Point, in Dundrum, Dublin 14, made no reply when he was charged on Tuesday afternoon at Pearse Street Garda station, Garda Donal O'Neill told Judge Anthony Halpin at the late sitting of Dublin District Court.
Garda O’Neill said it was alleged Mr Stokes headbutted the complainant once, “knocking him to the ground and temporarily losing consciousness”.
However, the man did not suffer lasting injuries, the court was told. The complainant was not in court.
Mr Stokes remained silent throughout the hearing and wore a protective face mask.
Defence solicitor Peter Corrigan, of Belfast-based firm Phoenix Law, told Judge Halpin his client denies the charge.
He told the court on the night in question Mr Stokes had been at the bar with his girlfriend “and says he acted at all times in self-defence, proportionately”.
Judge Halpin accepted jurisdiction for the case to be dealt with in the district court which can, on conviction, impose a 12-month sentence.
There was no objection to bail with conditions.
Mr Stokes was ordered to appear again on July 27th for a plea to be formally entered and a hearing date set.