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Last Updated: Friday, 6 October 2006, 15:59 GMT 16:59 UK
Game ban for bank robbery accused
Northern Bank
Dominic McEvoy is out on bail over Northern Bank robbery charges
A County Down gaelic football club's star player has been stopped from playing a match by a High Court judge.

Dominic McEvoy is jointly charged with the 26m Northern Bank robbery.

The Kilcoo player cannot take part in the away game against Loughinisland because one of his bail conditions states he cannot enter the village.

The judge agreed with a Crown lawyer who opposed a temporary relaxation of the ban, as the pitch is near where the robbers held a bank manager hostage.

Crown lawyer Nicola Auret said the Northern Bank manager and his wife were "extremely distressed at the prospect of the applicant coming into the locality".

Mr McEvoy's lawyer said that on previous occasions, bail had been varied before to permit him to play in Dublin and Wexford, and on each occasion he had honoured his bail as well as the strict condition of reporting daily to the police.

He said the player would not leave the ground between his arrival at 0930 BST and scheduled departure at 1230 BST.

Mr Justice Morgan said he had to balance the entitlement to go about his normal activities and a duty to ensure that witnesses were fully supported in their co-operation with the criminal justice system.

"These witnesses endured a severe trauma which may well have left indelible marks upon them," said the judge.

"Carrying out the balancing exercise as best I can, I am afraid it comes down against the applicant and I refuse his application."

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