'Cantankerous old man' loses €75,000 claim for alleged Luas assault
A "cantankerous" old man who claimed he had been assaulted and imprisoned by a Luas security guard has lost a €75,000 claim for damages against the tram company.
Circuit Court President Mr Justice Raymond Groarke said children would not have behaved like Brendan Marshall (69), himself a security guard, and Conor Finnegan, who is now a trainee garda.
He said that while Mr Marshall had been "argumentative, difficult, aggressive and abusive", Mr Finnegan had been "belligerent" over whether Mr Marshall had a valid ticket and could be allowed on the Luas.
Mr Marshall, of Rossfield Crescent, Brookfield, Tallaght, told the court he had been restrained by Mr Finnegan and another security man at Jervis Street junction for allegedly roaring at passengers to "move up" as he tried to get on the packed tram.
He told barrister Eamon Marray, counsel for the Luas Light Rail operator Transdev Ireland and STT Risk Management, that he had been grabbed by the wrist and bruised when approached by Mr Finnegan and the other security guard.
Mr Marray said Mr Marshall claimed the public service pass he waved in Mr Finnegan's face was a ticket.
Mr Marshall said he had been assaulted and detained on the platform and defamed in front of a full tram and passengers waiting to get on.
He denied being abusive or roaring at passengers.
Mr Finnegan told the court his attention had been drawn to Mr Marshall when he started shouting at passengers.
Mr Marshall claimed that when he was asked to leave the tram, he was assaulted by Mr Finnegan.
He said the Luas security guard should not have put a hand on him.
Mr Finnegan said that as a Luas security guard he was empowered to refuse aggressive passengers from travelling on the tram and was not obliged to call gardai.
Judge Groarke dismissed Mr Marshall's claims and said: "Two children wouldn't have behaved in this fashion.
"They would have known better than to engage in this sort of carry on and would have walked away.
"The Luas security officials should have stood back and allowed this elderly and cantankerous gentleman, who had a card which allowed him to access the Luas, get on the tram," said Judge Groarke.
He said he could not find any legal basis for Mr Marshall's claims that he had been assaulted, imprisoned or defamed.
He made no order as to costs against Mr Marshall.