Thursday 23 October 2014

I'm glad this is over - Niall Mellon on 'drunkenly squaring up to pub staff'

Published 06/01/2014 | 16:33

Niall Mellon pictured leaving Tallaght District Courts today
Niall Mellon pictured leaving Tallaght District Courts today
Niall Mellon pictured leaving Tallaght District Courts today.
Niall Mellon pictured leaving Tallaght District Court today.

ONE of Ireland’s best known philanthropists, Niall Mellon, has been ordered to enter into a peace bond for a year after he drunkenly squared up to staff in a Dublin pub and told a garda he would embarrass him in court.

The charity boss has spoken of his 'deep regret' at drunkenly squaring up to Gardai last summer.

Mr Mellon issued a statement today saying he appreciated the judge's 'thoughtful and considerate remarks' in court today, where he was brought for disorderly behaviour.

"I went out with a friend last July 2013 to celebrate something positive that had happened in his life and I ended up drinking too much alcohol and I regret that," he said.

"The judge said it was a minor event that could have happened to anyone and I appreciate his thoughtful and considerate remarks.

“Almost everyone who drinks alcohol has had some night they regret and mine was 12 July 2013. I let the judge know that I only drink alcohol occasionally and in fact have not drunk any alcohol whatsoever from that day to the current date."

Niall Mellon (46) verbally abused gardai and bar staff at Taylors Three Rock in Rathfarnham - a pub which he claimed he still owns - and told Garda Colin Noonan they were "all "b*****ds".

Mr Mellon got into trouble with gardai after he called them to the pub claiming a group was dealing drugs in the premises and he wanted them stopped.

The businessman, who is well known for the Niall Mellon Township Trust which builds homes for the poor in South Africa, said he deeply regretted getting intoxicated and he's not had a drink since this incident in July.

Judge Anthony Halpin said Mellon was a public figure and his conduct was inexcusable. The judge ordered him to enter into a peace bond for one year.

The defendant, with an address at Brentwood Court in Manchester, admitted before Tallaght District Court to public drunkenness and threatening and abusive behaviour at Taylor's Three Rock in Rathfarnham.

Garda Sergeant Bernard Jones said gardai went to the pub on July 12 last following a report a group was dealing drugs.

Sgt Jones said Mr Mellon had made this call to gardai, telling officers he was the owner of the pub and he wanted the group removed from the premises.

Sgt Jones said Mr Mellon was drunk and there was a strong smell of alcohol off him.

The sergeant said gardai spoke with the head barman who claimed Mr Mellon had been verbally abusive to staff and customers. Gardai were also told he was no longer the owner of the pub, which is under the control of NAMA.

Sgt Jones said gardai took Mr Mellon aside and told him to go home but he refused, saying the only way he was leaving was in the back of a patrol car.

Mr Mellon was given a number of chances to leave but he failed to do so, drunkenly telling Gda Noonan; "this is a bad moment in your career. I'll embarrass you in court, you're b*****ds".

Sgt Jones said Mr Mellon continued to verbally abuse gardai and this behaviour continued back at the station.

Mr Mellon said he went for a meal in Dundrum and on to Taylor's to celebrate a friend's good news.

He said he started drinking too early and had far too much to drink, but claimed there was a very hostile atmosphere in the pub.

Mr Mellon said he took over the pub in 1997 and he still owns it, refusing to sell it as the prices offered were not enough.

He also said he doesn't recall telling gardai he was concerned that drugs were being sold in the pub but claimed the incident arose after a guy said something, and then it appeared someone was going to hit him a punch.

Mr Mellon apologised for his behaviour, saying he hasn't had any alcohol since this incident.

By Eimear Cotter

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