GAA star Cathal McCarron avoids conviction after row in Dublin pub

Tyrone footballer pays €500 to charity over incident at Auld Dubliner pub in Temple Bar

Tyrone football star Cathal McCarron has been spared a criminal record and a sentence after he had to be restrained when he got into a row with staff at a Temple Bar pub.

The 2008 All-Ireland winner had pleaded guilty to engaging in threatening and abusive behaviour at Anglesea Street in Dublin’s city centre on May 12th last. The public order offence can result in a conviction, fine and a three-month sentence.

Dublin District Court had heard that an irate McCarron had to be restrained by security staff before he was put out of the Auld Dubliner pub and he then became aggressive to gardaí who tried to calm him down.

Last week, Judge Michael Walsh held that McCarron would be spared a criminal record if he gave €500 to a homeless charity. The case resumed on Wednesday but the Dromore and Tyrone corner-back was excused from having to attend.

Defence solicitor Peter Connolly furnished the court with a receipt showing his client had complied and had donated the money, at which Judge Walsh said he was striking out the case.

Earlier, Garda Sergeant Gail Smith told Judge Walsh that gardaí responded to a public order incident at the Auld Dubliner pub where McCarron was being "restrained by security staff". Gardaí separated him from the pub security to ask him what happened and be became aggressive to them.

Calm down

Garda Sgt Smith said the Gaelic games star was directed on numerous occasions to calm down but when he threw his top on the ground gardaí arrested him.

The court heard he had no prior criminal convictions and has not come to Garda attention since.

Mr Connolly had handed in to court a letter from his client in which he apologised to gardaí. He said his client is now studying psychotherapy part-time while continuing to work as a business development officer in a successful firm.

The court heard the 28-year-old, from Tummery Road, Dromore, Omagh, who also has three Ulster title medals, and has been nominated for the 2016 All-Star football awards.

The footballer, who helped his county win this year's Ulster Championship, has just released an autobiography titled Out of Control, which was co-written by journalist Christy O'Connor. It tells the story of his football success but also delves into his other personal issues including his chronic gambling problems, his move to London and taking part in a hardcore gay porn video before returning home to Tyrone to play for his county again.