Judge 'fears' for George bar drinkers after violent eviction of navy officer by bouncers
A JUDGE has voiced “great fears” for the patrons of Dublin’s best-known gay bar after the violent eviction of a female Navy officer.
Judge Anthony Halpin slammed The George for what he called the “wholly disproportionate” way that security staff restrained Lily Ann Donnachie (31) while trying to have her “kicked out”, as staff put it in court.
The judge said he did not believe the bar was a “proper place to hold a public licence” in view of its treatment of Ms Donnachie, who had been accused of assaulting two staff members.
“I have great fear for the patrons that visit this establishment,” he said.
He dismissed assault charges against Ms Donnachie and asked for his concerns about the bar to be passed to the local Garda superintendent.
Ms Donnachie, of Coolamber Avenue, Cobh, Co Cork, pleaded not guilty at Dublin District Court to assaulting doorman Daniel O’Callaghan and manager Sophie McDonald at the bar on South Great George’s Street on April 18, 2016.
Mr O’Callaghan said he was told that a couple had been refused entry for being drunk, but had got in through another door and bought drinks. He approached Ms Donnachie and asked her and the man she was with to leave.
He alleged that she became aggressive and punched his head, before dragging Ms McDonald to the ground by her hair.
Defence solicitor Robert Purcell said there were conflicts in evidence and it was not made clear that Ms Donnachie and her companion were the two people who had been refused entry.
He said she was knocked to the ground with “a lot of force” by security staff.
The judge said his fears were alerted by the language used by both Mr O’Callaghan and Ms McDonald in relation to “kicking out” people.
“This had a very nasty connotation that satisfies me of the mindset of people working in The George,” he said. “(Security staff) clearly inflamed the situation to such an extent that I believe the accused felt she was under threat of serious personal injury.”