herald

Wednesday 15 August 2018

'Pirate' fined after sticking his oar into Batman bar brawl

A HALLOWEEN partygoer dressed as a pirate was arrested after he broke up a fight between 'Batman' and another costumed reveller, a court heard.

Daniel Murtagh (24) claimed he was "acting the good Samaritan" by stopping the fight, and was then ejected from the nightclub in a case of mistaken identity.

But he was found guilty of causing a breach of the peace after he hurled abuse at doormen and gardai outside.

Judge Hugh O'Donnell convicted him and fined him €250.

Murtagh, with an address at Melrose Grove, Clondalkin had denied using threatening, abusive and insulting words or behaviour.

Dublin District Court heard the incident happened at The Palace nightclub on Camden Street on October 31 last year.

Garda William Godfrey told the court he was called to the scene at 1.50am and saw the defendant shouting at security staff outside. He was telling them "go f*** yourselves" and repeated this to the gardai.

"His demeanour was quite abusive and threatening," the garda said.

A large number of people were coming from the nightclub and the accused was arrested and brought to Kevin Street Garda Station.

Defence solicitor Stephen O'Mahony put it to the garda that Murtagh had been waiting patiently outside the club and all he said to the gardai and doorman was, "I have done nothing wrong".



Struggled

The garda denied this. The defendant told the court he had been out with friends on Halloween night.

He went to the nightclub, where a fancy dress party was on, and during the night a fight broke out between two men.

One of them was dressed as Batman, the court heard.

"I broke it up and the security guards misunderstood it and pulled me out to the lobby and held me there for about 10 minutes," the defendant said. "I told them I didn't do anything. I made no comments at all. The gardai came and just took me into the van. I explained everything to the gardai. I told them it was mistaken identity."

In cross-examination, the defendant said he could have struggled with the security guards or tried to run away, but instead he waited for the gardai to arrive.

Judge McLoughlin said there was a conflict of evidence and he preferred the garda's account of what happened.

The defendant, an out-of-work window fitter, had previous public order convictions.

"He was out on Halloween night, dressed in costume as a pirate, he broke up an altercation with two males who were unknown to him, one of whom was dressed as Batman," Mr O'Mahony said.

"He was probably trying to be a Good Samaritan. He was, in his opinion, wrongfully ejected."

aphelan@herald.ie

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