Saturday 22 July 2017

Men claim they were attacked by bouncers in unprovoked attack

Tim Healy

TWO men told the High Court they were beaten up in an unprovoked attack by three security men outside a Dublin nightclub.

Robert Cumiskey (38), a scaffolder of Grattan Lodge, Donaghmede and Lee Hennessy (39), a taxi driver, Leinster Street, North Strand, both Dublin, are suing Templeville Developments Ltd, trading as "Barcode" nightclub which was operated from the Westwood Gym premises in Clontarf.

They claim they suffered physical and psychological injuries and financial loss arising out of an assault by three bouncers outside the gate of the club on October 17, 2004.

The nightclub operators deny their claims and say the pair were drunk, aggressive, unruly and used a racist remark towards one of the staff.

They also say only reasonable force was used against them in self defence.

Mr Justice Kevin Feeney said he would give his decision today (Fri).

The two men told the court that after having around six pints of beer in two pubs on the night, they decided to go to Barcode for more drink.

They were told they were not getting in because they were not regulars but two girls and a taxi with a number of people were allowed in.

Mr Hennessy told the bouncer at the gate he was a member of Westwood and was told it had nothing to do with Barcode.

At that point, two other big bouncers came to the gate and without warning started attacking Mr Hennessy while the first bouncer attacked Mr Cumiskey.

Mr Cumiskey said he was punched, knocked to the ground and kicked before he briefly blacked out.

Mr Hennessy said he was also knocked to the ground, punched and kicked until he heard one of the bouncers saying "he's had enough."

Both men, who suffered injuries to their heads, told the court the attack was completely unprovoked.

They denied Mr Hennessy, a father of four, had told one of the bouncers, who was from eastern Europe, to go back to his own country or that they threatened to come back to the club armed with weapons.

They also denied they were drunk or that one of them spat at one of the bouncers with some of the spittle landing on a girl leaving the club.

Mr Cumiskey, a father of five, denied the fracas started when he (Cumiskey) threw a punch towards the bouncer at the gate and or that he also threw a kick at one of the security men, Michael Reilly.

Mr Cumiskey, who was self-employed in a scaffolding company at the time, said he was out of work for seven weeks from his physical injuries while he required years of counselling to deal with the psychological effect of what happened to him.

Mr Hennessy, who said he was off work for six weeks and unable to work nights after the incident, said he received cognitive behavioural therapy to deal with the trauma he had suffered.

Michael Reilly, the only one of the three bouncers to give evidence, said the incident started when Lee Hennessy ran through the gate and attacked the eastern European bouncer, Johnny George Drago.

At the same time, Mr Cumiskey kicked out at Mr Reilly who grabbed his leg and he (Cumiskey) fell back.

Mr Reilly said he did not kick or punch anybody and only saw Mr Hennessy grappling on the ground with Mr Drago.

He denied under cross-examination by John Jordan SC, for Mr Cumiskey and Mr Hennessy, that he and he "two mates" had given the men "a hammering". It all started because Mr Hennessy ran through the gate and attacked Mr Drago, he said.

The court also heard a mix up over which incident was being investigated meant that by the time the club's CCTV footage of the night was requested, it was no longer available because the tapes were automatically wiped after a month at that time.

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