GAA star pleads guilty to assault on ref after game
A Derry GAA star has admitted assaulting a referee after a quarter-final championship match last August.
Eoin Bradley (27) admitted one charge of common assault when he appeared at Limavady Magistrates Court yesterday.
The court was told that in August 8 last year police received a report of an assault on a GAA referee by a player after a match.
Referee Declan O’Connor, from Dungiven, told police that Bradley, of Woodland Park in Kilrea, had shouldered him and then punched him on the face.
When he attended casualty he was found to have a redness and a slight swelling on his face.
A defence solicitor told the court that the incident had occurred after the final whistle.
He said that during the match some remarks had been made which Bradley took personally, and he felt that some unfair decisions had also been made.
The solicitor said the Glenullin player was still “pumped up” when he approached Mr O’Connor after the match.
He said Bradley accepted he had shouldered the ref and then words were exchanged. The solicitor said that Bradley had “never meant it to be a punch” and thought he had pushed Mr O’Connor in the face.
The court was told that Bradley apologised for his actions and added that he had been punished by the Derry County Board by being banned for six months.
This meant he lost the opportunity to play for Ireland in the International Rules series.
District Judge Paul Copeland said that when cases like this reach the criminal system, it shows how seriously the authorities take them.
He said that Bradley had brought himself and his sport into disrepute.
Bradley was bound over to be of good behaviour for two years on a bond of £500 and ordered to pay the referee £500 compensation.