Sunday 18 August 2019

Man (65) 'with attitude' faces €20k costs after losing Irish Rail case

Martin Maguire pictured leaving the Four Courts after his Circuit Civil Court action for damages was dismissed. Pic: Courts Collins
Martin Maguire pictured leaving the Four Courts after his Circuit Civil Court action for damages was dismissed. Pic: Courts Collins

Ray Managh

A 65-year-old man “with attitude” has lost a €75,000 defamation case against Irish Rail and a security company --- and has been ordered to pay legal costs that will amount to more than €20,000.

CCTV and body camera video of Martin Maguire’s behaviour at Connolly Station in Dublin and “his demeanour in court” led Circuit Civil Court Judge Jacqueline Linnane to throw out his claim for defamation, false imprisonment and assault and battery.

Judge Linnane told barrister Jeri Ward, counsel for Irish Rail, that she did not have to hear evidence rebutting Maguire’s allegations against Irish Rail and STT Risk Management Limited.

The judge told Ms Ward and barrister Eamon Marray, counsel for the security firm, of Forthenry Business Park, Ballina, Killaloe, Co Tipperary, that she had seen enough in Maguire’s manner and behaviour both in court and at Connolly Station to dismiss his case.

“From his behaviour in court today and the video evidence presented to the court it is quite clear that Mr Maguire acted with an unreasonable, threatening and confrontational attitude,” Judge Linnane said.

The judge said there was no prima facie case presented to the court with which Irish Rail and STT Risk Management Limited had to deal.

Maguire, of Melbourne Gardens, Rush, Co Dublin, said that on 2nd April 2013 he had presented his free travel pass to Irish Rail staff at Connolly Station, Dublin.  He alleged that when his pass had been queried he had mistakenly given a wrong date of birth and “the Irish Rail girl” told him he had a false pass and that he was on camera.

“I am uneducated and I cannot read,” he said.  “I didn’t know my date of birth until it was confirmed to me by the dole office many years ago.  Anyone can make a mistake,” he said.

Maguire said he had become angry when Irish Rail had refused to give him a ticket to Dundalk to meet friends and when he was confronted by security staff.  He admitted he had attempted to grab back his pass.

Ms Ward and Mr Marray denied Maguire’s allegations and claimed in full defences that he had been “loud, aggressive, abusive and threatening” to both Irish Rail and security staff.

STT Risk Management claimed in a defence document that they had acted reasonably and had used reasonable force in escorting Maguire off the premises.

Judge Linnane, dismissing Maguire’s claim with costs against him, said Irish Rail was entitled to check his travel pass details.

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