The man who headbutted former Laois senior footballer Padraig Clancy, leaving him unable to ever again play GAA, was last week given an eight-month sentence, with Judge Catherine Staines remarking that Mr Clancy was lucky not to have been killed in the unprovoked assault.
Michael Lalor, Coolnabacca, Stradbally, was convicted of assault causing harm at a previous court sitting, with the matter adjourned for a victim impact statement.
The court heard from Inspector Aidan Farrelly that Mr Clancy was socialising with friends in The Tower Hill, Timahoe, on October 27 last year, when he was headbutted by Lalor in a totally unprovoked attack.
He was left with a broken nose and a deviated septum which required surgery, and further surgery is expected.
At last week’s Portlaoise District Court, Judge Staines read the victim impact statement on Mr Clancy:
Mr Clancy has been unable to play GAA or any contact sport following his injury, and suffered with a problem sleeping due to a breathing difficulty.
He was required to take three to fours weeks off for surgery, and has experienced a change in his physical appearance.
Mr Clancy said that in 14 years representing Laois he had never before had to suffer this level of violence. He concluded by saying that the worst thing about the incident is that at no point had Michael Lalor apologised for the assault, nor shown any sign of remorse.
“This is appalling,” declared Judge Staines.
Defence, Ms Anne Manning said that on the night, words were exchanged between Lalor and Mr Clancy.
“(Lalor) felt that a kindly word from him was taken up wrong by the victim,” said Ms Manning. “He had far too much to drink.”
Ms Manning said that compensation was a difficulty for Lalor, as he was a self-employed horticulturist with no earnings.
Judge Staines said it was a very serious assault which had had a devastating effect on the injured party.
“Mr Clancy was lucky not to be killed,” said Judge Staines.
The judge noted that Lalor had no compensation and had made no apology, and she imposed an eight-month sentence. Recognisance was fixed for an appeal.