Charges of assault withdrawn against GAA player

A section three assault charge was dropped against a GAA player at Ballina District Court on Tuesday after the complainant player on an opposing GAA team withdrew his statement of complaint last month.

At a court sitting in April, Patrick McHale, Gurteens, Ballina faced the charge of assaulting Gary Keane during a match between Ballina and Westport in the James Stephens GAA Park on May 27 2012.

The court heard that the injured party received a fractured jaw and fractured chin and was on liquid food for eight weeks. Medical evidence was handed into court and Judge Mary Devins accepted jurisdiction.

McHale asked that the case be adjourned as he wanted to seek the advice of a solicitor. The defendant was remanded on continuing bail to May 28 for hearing.

At this week’s court sitting Superintendent Joe Doherty said that the injured party, Gary Keane, wished to withdraw the complaint. Mr Keane had asked for his statement of complaint to be withdrawn on April 26 2013.

Mr Keane told the court that he was not under any pressure to withdraw his complaint. He said that he is being paid compensation by McHale.

Supt Doherty said that it was a “complex investigation”, where up to 30 people were interviewed, over a serious injury and “it took up a lot of Garda time”.

“Do you know you could be prosecuted for wasting Garda time?” Judge Mary Devins said to Mr Keane.

The DPP directed that the case be withdrawn based on the withdrawal of the complaint.

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