Tuesday 20 February 2018

Mellon 'drank wine and nine beers before arrest'

Niall Mellon at Tallaght District Court. Photo: Collins
Niall Mellon at Tallaght District Court. Photo: Collins
Niall Mellon

Property developer Niall Mellon guzzled a bottle-and-a-half of wine and up to nine beers in a drinking binge before he was arrested for squaring up to a garda and calling him a bastard.

And the incident last July was not the first time that the developer, who was pledged to abstain from alcohol, has been arrested for being drunk it has emerged.

At a District Court hearing last week, Mr Mellon was ordered to enter into a peace bond after he admitted to drunkenly confronting staff and gardai at a pub.

He had been out to lunch with a friend and had consumed a significant amount of alcohol at the time he told Garda Colin Noonan they were "all bastards".

"We went out at about half four, which is uncharacteristic for me, I can't remember going on what you might call a liquid lunch in at least five years. We ended up having a couple of bottles of wine and a journey to a bar.

"We calculated afterwards, when this thing became public, that we had three bottles of wine, so that's a bottle-and-a-half each I suppose," he told RTE's Marian Finucane Show.

"Then we adjourned to a next-door bar for an hour or two and probably had another five bottles of beer and then we decided we'd go up to Taylors Three Rock in Rathfarnham.

"I knew I was well over the limit so, as you would expect of me, I left the car behind and we got a taxi up. I had, I'm not sure, two, three or four beers there."

Mr Mellon said that he'd heard from different people that he was "loud" and "a bit lippy" and had a vague memory that a man had threatened to hit him a punch.

After he called the gardai, Mr Mellon admitted that it was clear that he was the drunken person in the situation and he refused to take a taxi home despite the pleas of the officers.

The developer and philanthropist has also revealed that he was previously arrested and fined for his behaviour after he drunkenly threw up in public eight years ago.

"Do not invite me out to a lunch again please. It was a minor enough thing eight years ago. I was fined €100.

"On that night I wasn't as jarred and again I was in town, I left my car at home, did what you'd expect of me being a mature adult, and I decided to walk home.

"Anyway, I was drunk and I'm embarrassed to say I got sick and somebody saw it and called the guards and I was arrested. But it wasn't any interaction with anybody. But that was that," he said.

The developer, whose loans have been transferred to Nama, also said that his mistake was to bring profits he had made abroad back to Ireland.

"If you really want to know it, my mistake was coming back to Ireland with profits I made overseas. I've been in the UK since about '98 or '99 and I made a lot of money in Britain, property developing, and I brought some of that money back to Ireland."

By Luke Byrne

Irish Independent

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