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Sunday 21 September 2014

Hardy Bucks star denies attacking bouncers as one assault charge struck out

TOM TUITE

Published 20/01/2014 | 17:51

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Hardy Bucks star Martin Maloney (30). Photo: Courtpix
Hardy Bucks star Martin Maloney (30). Photo: Courtpix

HARDY Bucks actor Martin Maloney has pleaded not guilty to attacking two bouncers while he was making an appearance at a popular Dublin pub.

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The 30-year-old, from Bollingbrook Drive, Swinford, Co Mayo, made his third appearance at Dublin District Court today to face three assault charges and succeeded in getting one struck out.

He is to contest the remaining, more serious assault allegations and was remanded on continuing bail – a date for his non-jury district court trial has yet to be fixed.

He faces two counts under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act for assault causing harm to Brian Smith and Mark O'Shaughnessy, at The Big Tree pub, Dublin, on October 9, 2012.

Mountjoy Garda Eamon Honan told Judge Patricia McNamara today that Mr Maloney is an actor on a RTE television programme and had been making a public appearance at the Big Tree when he became involved in an altercation with one of the security staff over the one-way queuing system at the toilets.

It was alleged that he got Mr Smith in a headlock and held him on the ground. Gda Honan said that Mr Smith had a previous injury that was exacerbated but has since “settled”.

The court also heard that it would be claimed that the actor was then escorted by security staff to a fire exit and taken outside. Gda Honan said it would be alleged the actor then struck the second complainant, Mr O'Shaughnessy.

Judge McNamara was told that Mr O'Shaughnessy suffered dental injuries; four teeth needed fillings and one required root canal treatment which all cost between €700 and €1,000.

After hearing the outline of the prosecution evidence, and reading statements and medical reports, Judge McNamara decided not to send the case forward to Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.

She said he was still presumed innocent and accepted jurisdiction to deal with the prosecution at district court level.

The judge adjourned the case until next week for mention when the entertainer's trial date will be set. Defence solicitor Tony Collier told Judge McNamara that a hearing date was required, meaning his client is contesting the charges.

It is expected that there will be up to eight prosecution witnesses; Mr Collier also said there is a “significant amount of CCTV” and it was expected that the district court trial will take a full day to hear.

A third, less serious assault charge relating to the same alleged incident was struck out following submissions from defence solicitor Mr Collier that it was statute barred by the time it was brought, in October last year.

Maloney became famous for playing the role of Eddie Durkan in the hit mock documentary programme which was set in a west of Ireland town and followed the antics of five down-on-their-luck young men.

The popular cult comedy started out as “webisodes” broadcast online but was later picked up by RTE and the cast also went on to star in the feature film titled The Hardy Bucks Movie, which became a box office hit in Irish cinemas.

In September last year the entertainer also appeared in TV3's Celebrity Apprentice.

Legal aid had been granted to the actor at an earlier stage after the court heard that his work is not steady and he is not able to fund legal fees.

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