A Kerry footballer has been fined €1,400 after being convicted of assaulting two gardaí and a security guard while drunk in Castleisland on St Stephen's night last year.
Kevin McCarthy (24), of Gortnatona, Kilcummin, Killarney, had previously entered a guilty plea at Tralee District Court and a fourth charge, of trying to bite a female garda, was withdrawn.
McCarthy, who made his senior intercounty debut last year, pleaded guilty to two Section 2 assaults – one on Garda Ronan Coleman and the other on security guard Robert Zybura.
He also pleaded guilty to a more serious Section 3 assault causing harm to Garda Michael Dalton. All the offences occurred on December 26th last on Main Street, Castleisland.
Sgt Miriam Mulhall Nolan told the court gardaí were attending to another matter in Castleisland at around 9.40pm when they noticed McCarthy was highly intoxicated. He became abusive and aggressive when spoken to and the gardaí used pepper spray on him. He lashed out at Mr Zybura who had come to assist the gardaí in trying to deal with Mr McCarthy.
In the back of the garda patrol car McCarthy became “extremely aggressive” and bit Garda Coleman on the right hand, leaving teeth marks, and inflicted an injury to the wrist of Garda Dalton, who missed work for more than two months due to his injuries.
McCarthy's solicitor, Padraig O'Connell, told the court his client had earlier travelled by bus at 11am to the Munster v Leinster match at in Limerick and had three or four cans of Carslberg.
He had five or six brandies and Baileys and left the match early as Munster were losing and drank more at Shannon Rugby club. He had been drinking brandy because he had been ill with a vomiting bug the night before and had nothing to eat, the solicitor said.
Mr O’Connell said that after travelling back by bus McCarthy drank vodkas and Red Bull in a pub and did not remember what happened in Castleisland. He had blacked out from the drink, which had happened once and twice before.
Mr O’Connell said his client had handed €5,000 in compensation into court and had apologised. McCarthy came from a good family, was hard working and his sporting prowess was well known, he added.
Statements about McCarthy’s good character from the Kerry county GAA board, Kilcummin GAA club and Niall O’Callaghan, a former town councillor, were handed in to the court as part of a a plea for mitigation.
Judge David Waters said the only thing keeping him from a custodial sentence was the absence of a previous conviction. He said McCarhty would be treated the same way as everyone else and that alcohol was "no defence".
“He was violent, completely out of control. The bite mark is a very serious aggravating factor,” the judge said .
Mr O’Connell said after the case that McCarthy would be appealing the matter “on the grounds of severity”.