A Tralee teenager who admitted sending racist and crass messages to former footballer Ian Wright will not receive a criminal conviction.
Instead, he has received the benefit of the Probation Act.
18-year-old Patrick O'Brien of 8 Sycamore Court, Ashleigh Downs, Tralee had pleaded guilty to two charges in relation to the matter.
At Tralee District Court, Judge David Waters said that he didn't see that anything could be gained by imposing a criminal conviction on Patrick O'Brien who had sent the abusive messages on Instagram to the former England and Arsenal footballer, Ian Wright.
He made the decision after hearing from the teenager's solicitor, Pat Mann, that Mr O'Connell had taken his own initiative and donated €500 to an anti-racism charity, the Irish Network Against Racism.
Judge Waters also based his decision on reading a report from the Probation Service, which said the young man had cooperated fully, and had an awareness of what he did and the negative impact it had on his victim, Mr Wright. He also took into account Patrick O'Brien's age and that he had no previous convictions.
The teenager also wrote a letter of apology to Ian Wright.
Judge Waters praised Mr Wright, saying he had very generously forgiven Mr O'Brien.
He applied section one subsection one of the Probation Act which is where the court thinks the charge is proved but is of the opinion that it will not proceed to conviction, having regard to the circumstances.