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Ex-GAA star is cleared of assault after 'commotion' on night out

By Nevin Farrell

A former All-Ireland winning GAA player who was allegedly referred to as "big-eared" on a night out in Magherafelt has been acquitted of inflicting grievous bodily harm on a man.

Enda Gormley (51), a bank official who is originally from Maghera - but whose address was given as Onslow Parade, Belfast - was charged, along with a co-accused, Adrian McCloskey (48), of White Water Court, Draperstown, Co Londonderry, of assaulting Austin Convery at Mary's Bar on November 23, 2014.

McCloskey, a joiner, faced the same charge and both men contested their cases.

On Friday afternoon, on the second day of the hearing at Coleraine Magistrates Court, both men had the charge each of them faced dismissed.

At the end of the prosecution case, Gormley's defence barrister - his 1993 Final Derry team mate Joe Brolly - and Seamus McNeill, lawyer for McCloskey, both called for the case to be thrown out.

District Judge Oonagh Mullan agreed that there was no case to answer.

The court had heard that the men were chatting in the bar when things turned sour. Witnesses claimed Convery allegedly referred to Gormley as a "big-eared w****r", and there was a "commotion" in the porch area of the pub. A short time later, Convery was lying on the ground outside with a broken ankle.

Mr Brolly said Gormley had only intervened in a struggle between Convery and McCloskey in an attempt to separate the men. Mr McNeill said McCloskey was only defending himself during the incident.

Judge Mullan said it was up to the prosecution to prove beyond doubt that each of the defendants maliciously inflicted grievous bodily harm on Convery.

Prosecution barrister Michelle Woods had argued there was a case to answer as there certainly had been an altercation which she claimed resulted in the injuries sustained by Convery. As well as the ankle injury, he had cuts on his face. She said at no stage did CCTV show that he tripped.

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