Belfast Telegraph

GAA star Owen Mulligan to face court on refusal to give police samples over suspicion of drink-driving after wedding

By Donal Nolan and Majella O'Sullivan

Former Tyrone football star and BBC pundit Owen Mulligan has been charged with refusing to give a blood or urine sample to police after he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving.

The three-times All-Ireland winner was arrested in Listowel, Co Kerry, where he had been attending a friend's wedding in a local hotel.

He was not present when the case came before Listowel District Court but was represented by solicitor John O'Dwyer, son of GAA legend Mick O'Dwyer.

Mr Mulligan of Church Street, Cookstown, is accused of refusing to give a blood or urine sample to gardai when he was arrested on suspicion of drink-driving in the town on August 29.

It is understood that the BBC Northern Ireland pundit had attended the wedding of his former Tyrone teammate Michael Coleman to the 2011 New York Rose Erin Loughran the previous day in the Listowel Arms Hotel.

At Listowel District Court, Judge James O'Connor inquired if the defendant was "the Owen Mulligan of Tyrone football", to which his solicitor responded: "I presume it is."

Mr O'Dwyer said the Cookstown Fr Rocks player was not in a position to attend the court sitting due to a personal matter that required him to travel to the UK.

"I can assure the court he will be in attendance on the next date," Mr O'Dwyer said.

Judge O'Connor remanded him on continuing bail to appear before the court later this year.

The judge directed that the state to release its documents relating to the case to Mr Mulligan's defence.

If convicted, Mr Mulligan faces being disqualified from driving for four years as the charge carries an automatic disqualification period for first-time offenders.

Mr Mulligan is no stranger to Kerry having struck up strong friendships with Spa players after Fr Rocks played the Killarney club in the Intermediate All-Ireland club final in February of 2010.

The August wedding of Mr Mulligan's teammate Mr Coleman was not the former Tyrone forward's first time attending nuptials in Listowel as he was part of the star-studded line-up at Kerry star Tadhg Kennelly's wedding reception which took place in 2012.

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