independent

Sunday 20 April 2014

Gardai probe GAA star Galvin’s pub bust-up with RTE impersonator Oliver Callan

Footballer clashes with RTE star over Seoige sketch

Kerry footballer Paul Galvin allegedly became angry after comic references were made about him and TV presenter Grainne Seoige

A pub flare-up involving GAA star Paul Galvin and a group including RTE comic Oliver Callan was last night under investigation by the gardai.

Officers were called to the Dublin city centre pub after receiving a complaint of an alleged assault by Galvin.

The Kerry footballer, who writes a weekly fashion column for the Irish Independent, had left the premises, Kehoe's in South Anne Street, before the gardai arrived.

One eyewitness said last night that Galvin was being "vilified in the wrong" and the incident did not warrant calling in the gardai.

Gardai spent yesterday tracking down pub customers, who were potential witnesses to the incident, including Junior Transport Minister Alan Kelly, Labour senator John Whelan, a couple of Sunday newspaper reporters and associates of Callan in his 'Green Tea' and 'Nob Nation' appearances on RTE radio.

It is alleged that Galvin was upset over a sketch on the satirical 'Green Tea' radio programme, which made humorous references to him and television presenter, Grainne Seoige.

Witnesses said that Galvin seemed to have become very upset at being teased about his friendship with Ms Seoige and confronted Callan and James McDonald, a member of the production team.

Officers said nobody had any visible signs of injury after the alleged incident.

Callan writes and stars in the 'Nob Nation' sketches, which featured initially in the 2fm programme hosted by the late Gerry Ryan, and then became a regular part of the 'Ryan Tubridy Show'.

The 'Green Tea' programme is broadcast on Saturdays.

Mr Whelan described the incident to the Irish Independent last night as "handbags at twenty paces" rather than an assault.

"What I saw happening didn't necessitate the gardai being called. I think if Paul Galvin hadn't been involved, nothing would be made of this. I think he is being vilified in the wrong."

The Portlaoise politician said that the incident took place just after 10pm after a group of journalists and politicians attended the launch of the Nealon's Guide to the 31st Dail and 24th Seanad in Leinster House and later adjourned to Kehoe's pub.

"There was a group of us standing up chatting when Oliver Callan joined a friend in the group," said Mr Whelan.

The 50-year-old claimed that Mr McDonald left the group and returned to tell them that Paul Galvin was on the other side of the partition.

"Paul Galvin came around the corner shortly afterwards and verbals began."

"Initially Galvin was pointing at McDonald and then he started to point at Callan and started to shape up to him. I think he said 'I am sick and tired of this'. It broke into shoving, pushing and pointing. There was shoving and pushing going on on both sides. He (Galvin) was irate. It wasn't a strike. It was more handbags."

Mr Whelan said he and other members of the group attempted to intervene.

"Myself and a couple of other friends tried to quieten Galvin down. Told him to cop on and not be letting himself down.

"Eventually he did. He left the bar of his own accord. He wasn't ejected and there wasn't anyone hurt. I felt it should have been left at that".

The former journalist said he was shocked when gardai were called to the scene. after

"My first reaction was, Oliver Callan, Paul Galvin, this must be a skit, but the gardai explained they had been called so they had to attend," he said. "This has been blown up out of proportion."

Neither Callan nor Galvin responded to calls yesterday.

Irish Independent

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