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Olympic boxer charged with three counts of criminal damage

Independent.ie logo Independent.ie 25/01/2017 Ralph Riegel

Charged: Olympic boxer Michael O’Reilly. © Provided by Irish Independent Charged: Olympic boxer Michael O’Reilly. Olympic boxer Michael O'Reilly (23) has been charged with three counts of criminal damage.

Mr O'Reilly, who was sent home from the Rio Olympics last August after one of his samples tested positive for a banned substance, appeared before Thurles District Court today on both criminal damage and public order charges.

The boxer, of Mountrath, Co Laois, was previously charged under Section 4 and 6 of the Public Order Act in relation to an alleged incident at Ballybeg, Littleton in north Tipperary on April 18 last.

It is alleged that O'Reilly was drunk in public and engaged in threatening or insulting behaviour.

Judge Elizabeth MacGrath was told that, on the instructions of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), a third public order charge of failing to comply with the lawful instructions of a Garda has now been dropped.

The boxer appeared in court wearing a sky blue suit with waist coat and tie.

He did not speak during the hearing.

Judge MacGrath was told by Sergeant Declan O'Carroll that O'Reilly has now been charged with three further counts of criminal damage.

Sergeant O'Carroll said that, after arrest, caution and charge, the boxer made no reply to each of the three counts.

The sergeant said that the DPP has ruled that all five counts be dealt with on a summary basis before Thurles District Court.

He explained that two other individuals will be co-defendants with Mr O'Reilly in relation to the allegations.

"This will be dealt with as expeditiously as possible," he said.

Sergeant O'Carroll said the other two individuals are expected before the courts within the next few weeks.

Gardai have no objection to Mr O'Reilly being remanded on continuing bail of his own bond of €500 with the sole condition that he stay out of Littleton.

JJ Fitzgerald, counsel for for Mr O'Reilly, said his client was anxious for the matter to be dealt with and had no difficulty with the bail condition.

"He would have no business there anyway," he said.

He confirmed that statements have been received from Gardai in relation to the matters.

Judge MacGrath said she was also anxious for it to be dealt with given that it involved an April date.

She adjourned the matter until March 7 for mention.

Mr O’Reilly (23) is from Clonmel, Co Tipperary but has been based in Laois over recent years.

A member of Portlaoise Boxing Club, he was sent home from the Olympic Games in Rio last August after it was confirmed a sample he had supplied in Ireland had tested positive for a banned substance.

O’Reilly later said he had unintentionally taken a supplement which resulted in the positive sample test.

The middleweight was one of Ireland’s main hopes for a medal at the Brazil games.

He had won a bronze medal at the 2015 World Amateur Championships in Doha.

The boxer had previously taken a gold medal at the 2015 European Championships in Baku.

He was sent home from the Rio Games immediately he decided not to appeal the result of his positive sample.

The boxer is now facing a ban from his sport though the duration of the ban has yet to be confirmed.

In a statement released as he was about the travel back to Ireland from the Rio Games, he said the positive sample was a result of taking a supplement given to him by “someone unrelated to his team or his association.”

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