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Irish Rugby Player Fined €10K Over Poker Game Assault

Neilus Keogh on his way to court

Rugby player Neilus Keogh's bank account is €10,000 lighter after he pleaded guilty to assault causing harm in an incident at The Sporting Emporium in Dublin on April 5, 2012.

Keogh, originally from Limerick, was playing poker with eight other players in The Sporting Emporium Casino when he lost a hand, stood up, punched Michael Frisby in the face before throwing a chair at him. Mr Frisby suffered three broken bones in his face, damaged nerves around his mouth, and now has two metal plates in his face, reported The Irish Times.

The second-row forward was last in court in February 2014 where he was ordered to undergo anger management counselling and return with €10,000 in compensation for Mr Frisby. Keogh's defence lawyer, Ronan Kennedy BL, said Keogh had “dealt with his anger issues and drinks a lot less since the incident” before adding “Keogh had paid very highly for his own foolishness.”

Keogh had signed a professional contract with Nottingham that was set to earn him £1,700 per month. However, Nottingham Rugby Football Club executed a clause in his contract and did not renew it once Keogh had been convicted. He now works as a labourer on building sites and plays rugby as an amateur for London Irish.

Judge Patrick McCartan imposed the Probation Act, which means no conviction shows up on Keogh's criminal record due to Keogh's remorse and commented on the loss of Keogh's career as “very regrettable but nonetheless an almost inevitable consequence of his wrong doing.”

Lead image courtesy of The Independent Ireland

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