PROBATION ACT APPLIED Peter Robb of Connacht, in action during training. Pic: David Maher/Sportsfile
A CONNACHT rugby player avoided a conviction for a public order offence despite not taking part in an underage training session in Westport, cancelled because of bad weather.
Peter Robb of 37 Laurleen, Stillorgan, Co Dublin, had given an undertaking to train an underage rugby team in Westport in order to avoid a conviction for intoxication while on a night out in Westport on April 9 last.
Mr Robb (23) who is a professional rugby player with Connacht was arrested on Bridge Street at 12.20am after he was deemed a danger to himself and sent a fixed-charge penalty notice, which went unpaid.
When the case appeared before Judge Mary Devins in Westport District Court in October, Mr Robb explained that the fixed-charge penalty notice was sent to his address in Dublin, and that he missed it because he currently lives in Galway.
On hearing he was a professional rugby player, Judge Devins said she would give Mr Robb a chance to avoid a conviction if he undertook to train an underage rugby team in the Westport area.
The case appeared before last week’s sitting of Westport District Court, where Mr James Ward, solicitor for Robb, explained that he had been lined up to help out at an underage blitz in Westport, but the event was cancelled due to rain.
Mr Ward said that his client remained committed to doing the training, and that the blitz was to be rearranged. He added that Robb is also planning to assist clubs on a voluntary basis as an ambassador for Connacht Rugby.
Inspector Dermot Butler agreed that the weather on the day of the blitz was ‘very inclement’, to which Mr Ward quipped that Insp Butler, who is also the assistant secretary of the Mayo GAA County Board, was of the view that rugby players are ‘soft’ compared to GAA players.
Despite Robb having not yet carried out his training undertaking, Judge Devins agreed to apply the Probation Act.