*Niall Gilligan. Photograph: Joe Buckley

ALL-IRELAND winning Clare hurler, Niall Gilligan has appeared in court charged with the assault causing harm of a 12 year old boy.

At Ennis District Court on Tuesday, the 47-year old Sixmilebridge man appeared in connection with two charges, which he denies.

Farmer and auctioneer, Mr Gilligan is charged with the assault causing harm of a 12-year old boy at the Jamaica Inn Hostel, Mt Ivers Rd, Sixmildebridge contrary to Section 3 of the Offences Against the Person Act on October 5th last.

Mr Gilligan is also charged with producing a wooden stick during the course of a dispute contrary to Section 11 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act at the Jamaica Inn Hostel, Mt Ivers Rd, Sixmilebridge on October 5th last.

Solicitor for Mr Gilligan, Daragh Hassett told Judge Alec Gabbett, “The matters are to be fully defended.”

Judge Gabbett asked what was the age of the alleged victim in the case and Sgt Tracy Stanley replied “twelve”.

Judge Gabbett commented, “It is very serious if it is a minor.”

Judge Gabbett asked if the alleged victim was known or unknown to Mr Gilligan and Sgt Stanley replied, “Unknown”.

Sgt Stanley of Sixmilebridge Garda Station gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution of Mr Gilligan earlier on Tuesday.

Sgt Stanley said, “I arrested the defendant this morning at 10.31am on Main Street, Sixmilebridge and conveyed him to Shannon Garda Station where at 11.08am he was charged as set out in the two charges before the court”.

Sgt Stanley said that Mr Gilligan was cautioned after each charge and he made ‘no reply’ in each case.

Sgt Frank O’Grady told Judge Gabbett that there was no Garda objection to bail for Mr Gilligan subject to certain conditions and Mr Hassett told the judge that the conditions had been reduced to writing.

These include Mr Gilligan of Rosroe, Sixmilebridge, residing at his own address and having no contact with the alleged injured party.

After reading the charges and the location of the Jamaica Inn, Mt Ivers Rd, Sixmilebridge, Judge Gabbett asked, “Is there an element of trespass here?”

Mr Hassett said that there is. Sgt Stanley said that the building was owned by Mr Gilligan at the time.

Sgt Stanley said that the case can proceed on a summary basis in the District Court and that the State Solicitor would be prosecuting.

Judge Gabbett said that he would decide if the matter would be heard in the District Court or the Circuit Court on the next court date and asked that medical reports in the case be made available to him.

On the adjourned date, the State case against Mr Gilligan will be outlined to allow Judge Gabbett decide on court jurisdiction.

Judge Gabbett asked was there an application for legal aid and Mr Hassett replied ‘no’.

Judge Gabbett imposed reporting restrictions, for now, on the identity of the alleged injured party as he is a minor and said that the boy’s parents would be asked about that issue.

At the end of the five minute hearing, Judge Gabbett remanded Mr Gilligan on bail to appear before Ennis District Court on July 24th.

Mr Gilligan was a star forward for the senior Clare hurling team which defeated Tipperary to win the 1997 All-Ireland Final. The Sixmilebridge clubman also won two Munster titles with Clare and multiple honours with his club over a long, distinguished hurling career.

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If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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