The trial of two men, accused of being involved in an incident in which Kilkenny hurling star PJ Delaney was injured, has started in Clonmel. Michael McCarthy Jnr, from Galboola, Littleton, County Tipperary is charged with assault causing serious harm and committing violent disorder. John O'Donoghue, from Beechwood, Thurles, is charged with violent disorder. Both men are pleading not guilty.

Counsel for PJ Delaney told Clonmel Circuit Court that his client had come within an inch of his death in the alleged incident outside Hayes Hotel, Thurles, on 19 September 1999. The court heard that PJ Delaney sustained head injuries including a fractured skull and an injury to his right leg, from which he has not recovered.

In evidence, PJ Delaney said that he did not return to full time employment as an accountant until nine months after the incident and has not resumed playing hurling, nor will he.