James Bernard McGovern publishes a video on Facebook before sentencing in his case.

Jailed boxer posts video night before sentencing

“I’ll hold my head high,” said James Bernard McGovern, in a video shared widely on social media the night before he was sentenced to three-years-and-three months in prison for assaulting two local businessmen.

Earlier in the month McGovern pleaded guilty to assaulting Kevin Lunney, causing him harm, at the Apple Green Service Station café, Rakeelan, near Ballyconnell, on February 1, 2019.

He also pleaded guilty to a lesser charge of assault to Dara O’Reilly, chief financial officer at the same company, on the same occasion.

Addressing the attack directly, and his potential sentencing the following morning, McGovern says: “Yeah, I shouldn’t have done it maybe.”

The young medal-winning Fermanagh boxer then signs off by expressing his thanks to those who have supported him, saying: “I’m sorry I’m not able to get back to all your messages. If you can share this far and wide it’d be great.”

Support from Kinawley GAA

Separately, McGovern’s local club, Kinawley GAA, issued a statement on Facebook expressing the opinion that the sentence handed down to their club member seemed “completely disproportionate”.

The Committee of Cill Náile Brian Boramha/Naomh Mhuire, Cill na Laisreach CLG would like to express their concern over...

Posted by Cill Náile C.L.G (Kinawley GAA) onSunday, 21 March 2021

Mannok were contacted for comment on behalf of Mr Lunney.

A spokesperson responded by thanking “the Gardaí and PSNI for their effort and diligence in bringing this matter to a conclusion, but noted the men take no pleasure in any young person receiving a criminal conviction.”


Boxer jailed for Mannok boss attack