Tuesday 16 July 2019

Drunk men sailing in shipping lane roared abuse at gardaí, court told

One said he had 'God-given right to be on Liffey', trial judge hears

Brian Stacey. Picture: Collins
Brian Stacey. Picture: Collins
Ronan Stephens. Photo: Collins

Tom Tuite

Two men sailing erratically in the shipping lane of Dublin Port were drunk and told gardaí to "f-off" when they went out in a lifeboat and asked them to desist, a trial has heard.

Dublin Fire Brigade and RNLI lifeboats were called out to deal with the incident on the Liffey at Dublin Port at about 6am on June 1, 2017.

The sailors of a small 26-foot pleasure craft refused to get out of the shipping lane and delayed the approach of the 90-metre Corinthian, a 4,000-tonne cruise liner, Dublin District Court has heard.

One man allegedly told a lifeboat skipper it was "their God-given right to go up and down this river as Dubliners".

Boat owner and yacht club member Brian Stacey (46), of Derry Drive, Crumlin, and co-defendant Ronan Stephens (42), from Captain's Road also in Crumlin, face charges under the Maritime Safety Act and the Public Order Act.

Following submissions from defence barristers Joe Mulrean and John Griffin, Judge John Hughes dismissed two charges: for failing to comply with a garda and endangerment of an RNLI crew.

The trial continues on July 24.

They remain accused of being intoxicated, navigating the craft without due care at the shipping lane and breach of the peace, which they deny.

Garda Vicky Montgomery told Judge Hughes the two defendants were asked to desist and leave the shipping channel. They had cans of alcohol and she believed they were intoxicated. She was told to f-off when asking the two men in the boat to desist.

Garda Patrick Collins told the court the boat was circling between three ships - an RNLI boat, a Dublin Port tugboat and and Dublin Fire Brigade craft. They were aggressive and shouting f-off. He directed them to cease their activities and they failed to do so.

The court heard Mr Stacey boarded the tug. He was "highly intoxicated" and the tug moving from side to side.

Garda Paul Moody told the court he also went out on the water on the RNLI boat. An attempt was made to corner the yacht and a small collision occurred. He asked them to stop and was met with a "barrage of language".

Mr Stacey boarded the Dublin Port vessel and Gda Moody jumped on to it as well and asked him to calm down. Mr Stacey was brought back to the marina and arrested. His boat headed to John Rogerson Quay. CCTV evidence showed the other man on board being helped on to the quays where he removed his clothing.

Irish Independent

Editor's Choice

Also in Irish News