Witnesses in Kehoe’s included a Government Minister, a TD, senator and several journalists.
Kerry footballer Galvin left the pub before the arrival of gardai. Earlier, reference had been made to the footballer’s reported relationship with RTE presenter, Grainne Seoige.
A pal of Callan’s who was making a complaint to gardai said: “Galvin kept threatening Oliver and then said ‘you little c***, why don’t you come downstairs and we’ll sort it out’. He went nuts.
“I asked him what his problem was. He wouldn’t answer. Oliver looked seriously rattled.”
Paul Galvin is thought to admit that an alercation took place but disputes some of the claims.
Mr Galvin is known to have been annoyed by some contacts made to him in the past by satirical radio sketch show Green Tea which is fronted by Oliver Callan.
Although references were made at some stage to Grainne Seoige this is not thought to have been what sparked Mr Galvin’s outburst.
Eyewitnesses described how the drama unfolded at Kehoe’s shortly before midnight when Galvin reacted angrily to references to Ms Seoige.
In the pub at the time was Mr Callan and members of the Green Tea production team.
They were drinking with a group of journalists and politicians at the time.
At some stage Galvin joined the group and launched into an angry tirade against the comedian, who also presents Nob Nation on 2fm.
Witnesses described a “face-off” between Galvin and Callan and the Kerry GAA star made to headbutt the comic.
Gardai were called to scene after one of Callan’s production team tried to intervene in the scuffle and was allegedly pushed by Galvin.
This person indicated he wants to make a formal criminal complaint against the controversial footballer but he has not made a statement yet. Garda patrol car arrived at the scene and two gardai went into the pub to investigate the incident.
Senator John Whelan, who was in the pub at the time, told the Herald that a large group of people including politicians and journalists were discussing the presidential election at the time.
“The Nob Nation team were there and they were part of the banter. It seemed that they engaged Paul Galvin in the banter. An exchange took place but to be honest I thought it was skit at first.
“But then there was a shemozzle and handbags at five paces.
“I was surprised when the gardai were called. He seemed to get annoyed when they start
ed jeering at him about Grainne Seoige. He didn't take it well.
“He was offside but it was a question of handbags.”
Senator Whelan added: “Genuinely I thought the whole thing was a publicity stunt and I was waiting to see Mike Murphy step around the corner and say we were had.”
A source told the Herald: “They exchanged words with him. It got a bit heated. There was high jinks. It seemed to get out of hand. One word seemed to borrow another. The guy was shouting 'he hit me, he hit me'. He went outside and phoned the guards.
“I thought that he |was joking. I just said to Paul to calm down and not to make a fool out of himself. Callan was very upset about it all. It was unnecessary,” said the source.
“They were slagging him off about Grainne Seoige. Galvin was silly to get involved and get so irate. They really seemed to get under his skin.”
Another witness told the Herald that one of the group asked Galvin to join them in the pub.
The eyewitness explained: “Galvin didn't budge for a second – next thing he comes over all aggressive….he called Callan a 'f**king c***'. We thought he was joking, and that he would start laughing in a while. Galvin then goes to the toilets.He comes back up and starts again… next thing he goes to Oliver and goes to headbutt him – It's more of a push than a headbutt. We were saying, 'what the f***?'“.
Gardai are investigating the incident with a view to preparing a file for the DPP. No arrests were made. A spokesperson for Mr Kelly confirmed that he was interviewed by gardai last night as a witness.