'Do you know who I am?', drunken John Joe Nevin asked garda
A drunken John Joe Nevin challenged a garda in a melee outside a pub by asking: "Do you know who I am?"
When the 25-year-old Olympic boxing silver medallist was advised by the garda to leave the area of an early-morning row outside the pub, he had replied: "You don't fu**ing tell me what I do."
Nevin, of St Anthony's Cottages, Mullingar, appeared in the local district court where he admitted a public order offence arising from his involvement in "a general melee" that spilled out of the Porter House public house in Dominick Street at 1am last December 27.
The court heard that the pub has also been known locally as The Slaughter House, arising from a number of viol ent incidents there.
Insp Jarlath Folan told Judge Seamus Hughes that up to 20 gardai had to be deployed to deal with the situation.
Nevin was very agitated and had tried to strike another individual in the face, Insp Folan said.
The exchange with the garda had occurred when Nevin was directed to leave the area of the argument.
He eventually did so, but had returned within five minutes as other fights were taking place and other people were due before the courts in connection with the incident.
Defence solicitor Patricia Cronin, replying to Judge Hughes, said her client could not remember who he had tried to hit as he was quite intoxicated.
Addressed directly by the judge, Nevin replied that he had begun drinking at 4pm in the afternoon and had consumed 10 to 12 pints of Carling beer at a guess.
"It was Christmas time, everyone is entitled," he said.
He told Judge Hughes he was now off drink and training for his next professional fight in Philadelphia in June.
"I want you to do your fighting inside the ring and not outside it. I'll see to it that you put a stop to your drinking and fighting," the judge said.
The judge told Nevin he was a national and international figure and that people looked up to him. He had watched with great satisfaction a TV programme about him and described him as "a good Christian". But he was blighting his reputation by instances of bad behaviour.
"For your sake, stop the messing you're doing," he said.
He warned Nevin that, while he was not going to "criminalise" him on this occasion, he would not hold back in sending him to prison in future if the need arose.
He ordered him to pay €500 to the court poor box.
Nevin has already been barred from every pub in Co Westmeath, pending the hearing of a separate court case involving a brawl outside the same pub last month.
That case, along with similar cases involving four members of his extended family, was yesterday adjourned to Mullingar District Court in July.