Belfast Telegraph

Ex-GAA player jailed after assaulting man in Belfast

By Alan Erwin

A former highly-rated Gaelic football prospect has been jailed for seven months after assaulting a man in Belfast city centre.

Glenn Flynn was filmed taking part in an attack where the victim was punched repeatedly at Castle Street on Sunday, prosecutors said.

The 24-year-old, of Centenary House hostel in the city, admitted common assault and disorderly behaviour.

Belfast Magistrates' Court heard two men took part in a violent outburst captured on mobile phone by a passer-by.

Defence solicitor Gabriel Ingram said Flynn denied inflicting any blows but was pleading guilty on the basis that his actions would have put the victim in fear.

He accepted his client has a "terrible, terrible record", but argued that all offences were fuelled by addiction to alcohol.

Mr Ingram also revealed that Flynn was involved in a serious road traffic accident in 2011 which left him in a coma for nearly two weeks and confined to a wheelchair for four months.

"Up until then he played GAA football for Armagh County's Under 17s, with hopes of going on to play for the senior team," the lawyer said.

Instead, the court heard, Flynn had to give up sport while his drinking and offending continued.

"His life just took the wrong turn through no fault of his own," Mr Ingram contended.

District Judge Fiona Bagnall was told the defendant's stepfather still hopes he will one day take over running his cattle farm in Armagh.

Despite acknowledging Flynn's unfortunate circumstances, she stressed he was in breach of suspended sentences.

Mrs Bagnall imposed four months imprisonment for the latest offences, and ordered him to serve a further three months of the previous terms.

Flynn nodded and waved to friends in the public gallery as he was being led to the cells.

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