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Friday 25 May 2018

McGregor defiant in social media post following link to brawl in Dublin pub

Conor McGregor. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile
Conor McGregor. Photo: Stephen McCarthy/Sportsfile

UFC star Conor McGregor made a bizarre display of defiance after being linked to a brawl in a Dublin pub.

Posting on his official Instagram account he referred to himself as "the celebrity" in an apparent reference to newspaper accounts of a row in a Crumlin bar involving a relative of a senior Kinahan cartel criminal.

In the post, McGregor (29) poses with his head and most of his face covered after being linked to the pub incident on social and print media.

Gardai have received no complaint and are not investigating the incident.

Victims

Sources said there are "no plans at this stage" to interview McGregor or any alleged victims.

Social media was rife with speculation yesterday that if McGregor was the celebrity involved, he would be forced to cough up a six-figure sum.

Senior sources said gardai have received no information that cash had been demanded from the millionaire UFC star.

"It is fair to surmise that if there is an issue, the most likely way of it going away would be the offer or demand of money. This often happens in situations like this," a senior source explained.

"It is important to note this is not a garda investigation and there is nothing to indicate it will be."

It has been alleged that two men were punched in the south Dublin pub late on Sunday night, including a relative of senior Kinahan cartel henchman Graham 'The Wig' Whelan.

A man in his 50s, who is related to the convicted drug dealer, was allegedly punched twice in the face after intervening in a row involving a younger man from the Crumlin area.

The Herald contacted representatives for Conor McGregor for comment last night.

Concerned

Pals are now concerned about what is next for the star, who is due in court tomorrow over an alleged speeding offence.

Last week his speeding case was adjourned for a second time after he failed to appear at Blanchardstown District Court.

It is alleged the 29-year-old was travelling in excess of the 100kph speed limit on the N7 Naas Road at Rathcoole, Co Dublin, on March 31.

His business manager Alan Geraghty told the court he was acting as McGregor's representative.

The court heard Mr McGregor had returned the fixed charge notice but forgot to attach his driving licence number.

Judge Miriam Walsh said the defendant must either appear in court himself or send a legal representative.

She adjourned the case until tomorrow.

On November 6, McGregor was a no-show when his case was called in court.

On that date a representative attending for the lightweight champion told the court he was out of the country and unable to attend.

On November 10, the UFC star courted controversy by leaping into the cage after a fight at the 3Arena.

He became embroiled in an angry exchange with referee Marc Goddard after jumping into the octagon to celebrate Charlie Ward's defeat of John Redmond. Goddard immediately ran to McGregor to get him to leave the cage when the pair became involved in an altercation.

McGregor appeared to push Goddard up against the cage and after a minute of shouts and argument, McGregor left.

The alleged victim of Sunday night's assault is a male relative of 'The Wig' Whelan, a highly secretive criminal who has been involved in organised criminality over the past two decades.

Operations

Originally from Clonard Road in Crumlin, Whelan has been based mainly in Liverpool and the party island of Ibiza, where he is suspected of being heavily involved in the cartel's operations.

However, in recent years he has returned to Dublin on occasion.

He was arrested on outstanding bench warrants and briefly detained last year.

Whelan was best pals with cartel figure David Byrne, who was shot dead in the Regency Hotel bloodbath in February, 2016.

Whelan was earlier central to the drugs bust that led to the bitter Crumlin-Drimnagh feud breaking out in 2001.

In February of that year, 'The Wig' was jailed for six years for possession of IR£1.25m of ecstasy tablets and cocaine at the Holiday Inn in Pearse Street, Dublin, a year earlier.

After being arrested by gardai, officers warned him that he faced a decade in jail if convicted of possessing the massive haul.

Whelan told them he could do 10 years "standing on his head".

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