Louth fans face court charges

THREE Dundalk men who are accused of attacking the referee at last year’s controversial Leinster football final are set to enter their pleas at Dublin District Court on July 7.

THREE Dundalk men who are accused of attacking the referee at last year’s controversial Leinster football final are set to enter their pleas at Dublin District Court on July 7.

Joseph Conlon (23), of Marlbog Road, Haggardstown; Eoin Grimes (40), Willowdale Bay Estate; and Dermot Rodgers (44), of Belfry Gardens, St Alphonsus Road, appeared at Dublin District Court on Tuesday, May 10.

The court case relates to an incident involving referee Martin Sludden who denied Louth its first Leinster title in 53 years by allowing Meath’s injury-time winning goal to stand.

TV replays showed that the goal should have been disallowed, as Meath’s Joe Sheridan had thrown the ball over the line.

Louth supporters challenged Sludden as he made his way off the pitch at the end of the final on July 11 last.

Television cameras that were following Sludden off the field of play captured the incident.

The prosecution has been brought under Section 2 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Persons Act which, on conviction, can result in a sentence of up to six months and/or a fine.

The three men were not required to speak during the brief hearing. Séan T O’Reilly, solicitor for Mr Grimes, made a request for the footage “that gardaí may seek to rely on in relation to this matter”.

Lisa Cassidy, counsel for Mr Rodgers and Mr Conlon, asked Judge Bryan Smyth to make an order for the State to provide disclosure of evidence. Ms Cassidy said she was seeking “CCTV and TV footage of the alleged incident”.

The judge made an order for the State to provide disclosure of the evidence sought by the defence lawyers by June 9 next.

He adjourned the case until July 7 when the three defendants are to enter pleas. Sludden recently made the list of 18 referees who will be available for upcoming championship matches over the course of the next four months despite the blunder at the Leinster final.