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Football

31st May 2023

Former Celtic and Northern Ireland star Paddy McCourt found guilty of sexual assault

Patrick McCarry

Paddy McCourt

The Derry native won 18 international caps for Northern Ireland.

Paddy McCourt has been found guilty, after a two-day trial at Derry Magistrates’ Court, of sexual assault.

The 39-year-old, of Wheatfield Court in Muff, County Donegal was accused of inappropriately touching a woman at a bar in Derry city centre, in January 2022.

McCourt, who had denied the charge against him, will be sentenced on 7 July. He was released on bail until that date.

During the two-day hearing, both McCourt and the female provided evidence. According to the BBC, District Judge Ted Magill ‘dismissed the defence’s claims that the police investigation had been flawed because they did not arrest and take DNA samples from another man in the bar that night.

Paddy McCourtPaddy McCourt pictured (left) playing for Celtic in the Dublin super Cup, in 20011, and (right) waving to fans at the Brandywell in 2008. (Credit: Sportsfile)

CCTV footage show at Paddy McCourt trial

On the first day of the trial, CCTV footage from the bar was shown of the incident.

Paddy McCourt was signed, as a teenager, from Foyle Harps by Rochdale in 2000 and spent five years there before joining Shamrock Rovers for a season. He then moved on to Derry City until Celtic signed him in 2008.

The retired midfielder won two league and two Scottish Cup trophies with Celtic before moving on to Barnsley and then Brighton. After stints with Notts County, Luton Town and Glenavon, he finished up his playing career with Finn Harps.

McCourt made his Northern Ireland debut in 2002 but did not win a second cap until 2009. He finished up with 18 international appearances, scoring two goals.

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