Pounds 5000 INSULT; They Earn Pounds 1.5m a Year but All Drunken Yobs Kennedy and Babb Offered Was Pounds 5,000 BETWEEN Them as an Apology

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Byline: CAOIMHE YOUNG

SHAMED soccer stars Mark Kennedy and Phil Babb were slammed last night for handing over just pounds 5,000 between them as an apology for a drunken spree.

Irish internationals Kennedy, above left, and Babb, right, who together earn an estimated pounds 1.5million a year, were slammed by Junior Minister Willie O'Dea.

The Fianna Fail TD said: "pounds 5,000 is just a drop in the ocean for the likes of them. They've set a bad example for kids.

"The amount they paid out to charity should have been far larger.

"Kids look up to them. They have a great responsibility as sporting heroes and they haven't lived up to that.

"I don't think anybody wanted to see them jailed or anything like that, but the punishment should have hit them far harder in the pocket."

The players handed over less than 0.5 per cent of their earnings for jumping on the bonnet of a female Garda's private car in a Starsky and Hutch-style stunt.

The humbled duo pleaded guilty at Bridewell District Court, Dublin, to charges of being drunk and disorderly, breaching the peace and causing criminal damage.

Kennedy and Babb voluntarily donated pounds 5,000 to the ISPCC and paid the full repair bill for the car.

Judge William Farrell applied the Probation Act after the August prank.

The court heard the conviction would far outweigh the juvenile actions of 29-year-old Babb, who plays for Sporting Lisbon in Portugal, and Manchester City star Kennedy, 25.

Judge Farrell said: "They have pleaded guilty. They apologised when they were sober and paid for the damages to the car.

"They were dealt with by the authorities in the full glare of the media."

After the court case, Manchester City chief executive Chris Bird said the men had been dealt with fairly.

He said: "The court has dealt fairly with what was horseplay that went sadly wrong.

"Both Mark and Phil deeply regret the incident.

"They were dealt with today in the same way the courts would deal with anyone."

Mr Bird said Kennedy had the full support of his club and Republic of Ireland boss Mick McCarthy.

But he refused to comment on the arresting officer's evidence that both Babb and Kennedy were abusive during attempts to arrest them.

Mr Bird said: "That was alleged in court. Phil and Mark have taken the court judgement and admitted they were very wrong.

"I'm very supportive of Mark. It is a regrettable situation and one that we wish had never happened but now the boys just want to put it behind them and get on with the football. …