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15 Aug 2022

Garda Ombudsman complaint over Laois GAA juvenile hurling assault case

The Garda Ombudsman Commission is understood to have received a complaint arising from alleged assaults during a Laois GAA juvenile hurling game last year.

The development came to light during a Portlaoise District Court hearing about the incident, today Friday March 16. Three people, an adult and two teenagers were before the court in relation to alleged offences on April 20 2017, at Rosenallis GAA grounds. 

On Friday in court, Judge Catherine Staines responded to an unsolicited intervention from the body of the court by a parent of the injured party. The parent referenced a complaint made to the Garda Ombudsman.

The judge replied: "This may have gone to the Garda Ombudsman so I am putting the case back by one more month to clarify the situation".

A boy, aged 15, is before the court on a Section 3 assault charge of causing harm during the incident that took place during a game.

Another boy, aged 15, and male aged 54, both from Clonaslee appeared having been charged with section 2 assaults.  

During the hearing, a referee's report was handed over in court by Gardaí to solicitor Philip Meagher, who represents the boy charged with the Section 2 assault.

Mr Meagher said that "we received substantial complaints" about evidence given by Gardaí, and he asked for the referee's report.

"It's as close to a contemporaneous note as we have," he said.

Judge Staines said: "If Gardaí decide they don't require evidence and if the defendant wants it, they should be entitled to it".

The Section 2 cases were put back to May 18, to accommodate a family occasion.

The case involving the more serious Section 3 assault will be heard again on April 20 at 2pm in the same court.

There have been a number of previous hearings in the case. During the initial hearing in December 2017 the court heard that a boy from an opposing team was hospitalised twice with head injuries suffered during the GAA game.

In Gardaí evidence, it was claimed that he injuries were suffered as a result of a blow to the head. 

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