Soccer coach headbutted parent during underage blitz

Limerick District Court

Limerick District Court

  • by David Hurley

AN underage soccer manager who verbally abused a referee headbutted a parent who confronted him over his use of foul language.

Niall Hogan, aged 45, of Glenview Terrace, Farranshone pleaded guilty at Limerick Court to assault causing harm on April 6 last.

Garda Ciaran McCarthy said the incident happened at the Star Rovers complex at Lee Estate following an under-9 soccer blitz on April 6, last.

Judge Eugene O’Kelly was told that during one of the matches Mr Hogan, a father of four, was asked to stop using foul language by the parent of one of the children playing.

When the man sought an apology afterwards, the defendant headbutted him in the face fracturing his nose.

Mr Hogan told gardai he had used foul language but denied it had been directed at any of the children.

Judge O’Kelly said it never ceases to amaze him how “sideline officials can get so carried away and resort to the use of foul language in the presence of children”.

He accepted submissions made by solicitor John Devane that the actions of Mr Hogan were not premeditated and that he did not intend causing such serious injury.

However, he said the use of foul language in the presence of children was unacceptable and he said he believed the injured party was entitled to seek an apology from the defendant over his language.

The judge requested a report from the Probation Service indicating he is considering imposing a community service order in lieu of a four month prison sentence.

He ordered Mr Hogan to keep the peace for a year and he must not have contact with the injured party of his family during that time.


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