FIVE Polish football supporters, who got involved in a drink-fuelled row and shouted abuse at gardaí at Dublin Airport, have been spared custodial sentences.
A drunken altercation broke out yesterday evening between two groups of Polish supporters at the airport when they were told they would not be allowed board flights to Edinburgh and London. The five men had come over to watch the Poland versus Ireland friendly at the Aviva Stadium on Wednesday.
After seeing their side lose 2-0, they spent the night in Dublin but when they showed up at the airport a verbal fight broke out among the fans.
Gardaí were called and they spent a night in the cells before being brought before Dublin District Court yesterday.
Taxi driver Krzysztof Janowski (27) of Kelso Place, Kirkcaldy, Scotland, taxi-driver Bartosz Trojaniwski (31) of Oak Tree Square, also in Kirkcaldy, Maciej Zdziarski (33), with an address in London , and car valet Przemyslaw Zukowski (31), with an address in Poland, were all charged with public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace at the airport on February 7.
Michal Kiecok (25), of no fixed address is charged with a single public order offence - causing a breach of the peace.
Garda Sergeant Michelle Lynch told Judge Patricia McNamara that the men did not come to blows and it was verbal fight only at Terminal 1. Most were drunk and had been told they could not board flights. The court heard they were “aggressive and shouting verbal abuse”.
They were escorted out by gardaí and put on a bus during which time they stamped their feet, shouted at officers, roared football chants and banged on windows. The court heard that on the bus they intimidated gardaí by trying record them on their mobile phones.
Przemyslaw Zukowski was sporting two black eyes but his solicitor explained that did not have anything to do with the incident at the airport, he had fallen down stairs at a hotel.
Defence lawyers Edward Flynn and Alice O'Reilly said the men were apologetic, had not been in trouble before and were of limited means. They had no money left after having to make new arrangements to get flights out of Ireland.
Judge McNamara said that she had heard that most of the Polish fans that had been in Dublin for the match were “generally well behaved”. However, she added that the airport authorities had the right to not let the five men get on a plane.
The judge noted that they had to pay for new flights and had spent time in custody following the arrests.
She bound them to the peace for 12 months and warned them that if they come back to Ireland in that time, they must be of good behaviour or else would be brought back before the court.