Dad had hammer in supermarket to 'defend daughter'

Lyndsay (left) and Thomas Byrne (far right) outside court

Andrew Phelan

A man produced a hammer to defend his daughter as she rolled around the fruit and vegetable aisle of a supermarket in a fight with another woman, a court heard.

Thomas Byrne (59) said he had the hammer to "frighten" off another man involved in the row, but was found guilty of a weapons charge after a judge found he had gone too far.

Judge John Hughes fined him €500 for producing a weapon in the course of a dispute.

The accused, of Doonbeg House, Clare Village, Clarehall, had denied the charge. He was found not guilty of affray and producing a knife.

His daughter, Lyndsay Byrne (28), of Newtown Court, Belcamp Lane, had been charged with affray but was acquitted.

Dublin District Court heard children were crying and customers were screaming during the incident in Tesco, Clarehall, on February 5, 2017.

The court heard another man and woman were also involved in the row and there was a background of an alleged break-in at Lyndsay Byrne's home.


Ms Byrne said she had been shopping with her daughter when she bumped into the man outside Tesco and he made a remark that she "needed a slap".

Her father joined her in Tesco and they saw the other man and woman there.

She said she defended herself by fighting back after the other woman "came towards me, screaming". They ended up on the floor and had each other by the hair, she said.

She alleged the other woman bit her finger, which was bleeding. Thomas Byrne said he had the hammer to fix a broken heater in his daughter's home.

Ms Byrne told him about the "slap" remark, and he said he told the man: "Would you ever leave her the f**k alone?"

The two women were then rolling around on the ground and "the young fella was trying to get around me, saying 'You f**king bitch'", Thomas Byrne said.

He took the hammer out, held it in his hand, and told the man to "get away from her", he said.

He had it by his side and never lifted it past his waist, he said.