All-Ireland camogie champion pleads guilty to assaulting young woman

Sentencing of Ashling Thompson will be decided after second assault charge is heard


Three-time All-Ireland medal winner and former Cork camogie captain, Ashling Thompson (28), has pleaded guilty to assaulting a young woman in the early hours at a nightclub in Cork last year.

Thompson, of Newtownshandrum, Charleville, Co Cork, pleaded guilty today to assaulting Jennifer Coakley at the Secret Garden at Rearden’s on Washington Street in Cork on February 25th, 2018.

Insp James Hallihan said Ms Thompson was speaking to a male when they were approached by Ms Coakley and when she began speaking to the male, Thompson struck her, hitting her in the jaw with her elbow.

Ms Coakley told Cork District Court she suffered a hairline fracture of her jaw in the assault, which forced her to delay a 12-month career break she had planned.

She had planned to travel to Singapore with her boyfriend but had to delay the trip for medical treatment for the jaw fracture, Ms Coakley told the court.

Judge Con O’Leary queried why he didn’t have a detailed medical report on the matter and Ms Coakley explained she had left Cork as soon she could for the career break.

“I was trying to put it behind me – I wanted a new start – I was moving away,” said Ms Coakley, adding that she had failed to keep a follow-up medical appointment, including one for a second X-ray on her jaw.

That she was unable to furnish medical reports to the court was entirely her own fault, said Ms Coakley, adding that she continued to experience some pain with her jaw.

Currently working in Abu Dhabi, she had to travel back to Cork for the case as Thompson had previously indicated she was contesting the charge.

Defence solicitor Eddie Burke said his client had suffered the full glare of publicity as a result of considerable media interest in the case, which was very unfortunate for her.

He said his client faced another charge of assaulting another woman, Aoife O’Flaherty, also at the Secret Garden at Rearden’s on the same date and she was contesting that charge.

Judge O’Leary fixed that second assault charge for hearing on June 18th next and he adjourned the issue of sentence in relation to the assault on Ms Coakley until that date .

Thompson, who captained Cork to win the O’Duffy Cup in 2015, has also won two All-Star awards while she has three all-Ireland club medals won with Milford, her local club in North Cork.