Thursday 22 February 2018

Pub-goer claims he was defamed in row over 'fake' tenner

Leonard Nolan says he presented a ‘good’ €10 note. Picture: Courtpix
Leonard Nolan says he presented a ‘good’ €10 note. Picture: Courtpix

Tim Healy

A pub-goer claims he was defamed when he was told by a barman that a €10 note he used to pay for a pint of lager was fake, the High Court heard.

Leonard Nolan (53) sued Laurence Lounge Ltd, trading as Grace's Pub in Rathmines, Dublin, for alleged defamation on April 24, 2013.

He was awarded €5,000 plus costs in the Circuit Court in 2016. The pub appealed to the High Court, which yesterday adjourned the matter to next week for legal submissions.

Mr Nolan, a fast food delivery man, of Pearse Gardens, Sallynoggin, Co Dublin, told the court he went into the pub at around 8.30pm.

He ordered a pint of lager and put a €10 note on the counter.

"Rather than fulfil my order, the barman decided to pick up the note and holding it aloft said you can clearly see that is a fake," he said.

Asked by his counsel Jeremy Maher how he felt: "First I was nervous, then I was devastated, words could not describe what I felt at being called a cheat."

He told the barman he'd got the tenner from the post office, that it was "a reliable source and that note is good".

Mr Nolan said there were around 10 other people there, with two men sitting very close at the counter and the barman was speaking loudly.

He said he went to nearby Rathmines garda station where a garda took the note, went away and about four minutes later returned and said: "That note is perfect, you can spend it anywhere you like."

He returned to the bar and told the barman what the garda had said. He asked the barman to sign the note but he refused and told him to leave.

Desmond Bond, the barman, told the court he said to Mr Nolan it was a "fake note, where did you get that".

He knew it was not genuine because it did not have a silver strip. He also disputed the note produced in court was the one Mr Nolan used on the night.

He claimed he made a little tear in the top of the note when he was checking it and the note in court did not have that tear.

He felt he had dealt with the matter as discreetly as possible.

Gardaí Aaron Lawlor and Andrew O'Sullivan said they were on duty in Rathmines station that night and nobody came in about a counterfeit note.

Mr Justice Michael McGrath said he wanted to hear legal submissions from both sides and he adjourned the case to next week.

Irish Independent

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