A MAN and two women who admitted engaging in a violent disorder outside Cork city centre pub claimed that they were reacting to a security man kneeling on the back of another man on the ground.
Daithí Ó Donnabháin, solicitor for the three accused, said today: “They did not go out that night to cause trouble. They reacted to what occurred outside the premises.”
Mr Ó Donnabháin claimed that what occurred was that another man in the group’s party had been put out of the premises and was being held down on the ground by two security men.
The solicitor said that CCTV of the incident showed one of the security men with both of his knees on the man’s back on the ground, in the area of his upper shoulders and neck. He said the man on the ground was struggling to breathe, and that there was blood coming out of his head.
One of the defendants before Cork District Court was Mark Keane, a 46-year-old from Oakfield Drive, Riverstown, Glanmire, who was never in trouble in his life. He pleaded guilty to charges of engaging in violent disorder, threatening behaviour, being intoxicated and a danger, and assaulting one of the security man.
Mr Ó Donnabháin said Keane simply pushed one of the security man away because of his concern for the welfare of the man on the ground. He was afraid the man on the ground was “being choked to death”.
Mr Keane’s wife, Christine O’Leary, aged 39, and her sister Frances O’Leary, aged 37, of Hazelwood Way, Glanmire, both pleaded guilty to violent disorder and public order charges. Mr Ó Donnabháin said they got caught up in the incident when they tried to intervene as the security men were dealing with Mark Keane and the man on the ground.
Sergeant Pat Lyons said that security staff at The Grafton Bar on Oliver Plunkett St, were trying to clear the bar at the end of the night when the incident occurred on March 10, 2019.
He said Keane assaulted a security officer and that he and others refused to leave the scene and that other parties intervened. Ultimately, gardaí had to be called to bring matters under control.
Judge Olann Kelleher said he would need to see probation reports on all three defendants in advance of sentencing. The case was adjourned until November 10 for that purpose. Judge Kelleher told the defendants it would be in their interests to co-operate with the probation service.