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Clash of the Christmas parties led to punch-up

GUESTS from two separate city centre Christmas parties clashed in a violent street brawl that saw a champagne bottle was used as a weapon, a court heard.

Two men pleaded guilty to violent disorder charges following the fight on College Green that gardai had to break up.

Richard Reid (25) and Darren Smith (23) were both told to pay compensation to men they struck during the incident on December 18, 2008.

Judge David McHugh adjourned the case for Reid, of Park Lawn, Clontarf, to pay €2,000 and Smith, of St Brigid's Green, Killester, to pay €1,000. Dublin District Court heard gardai were unable to state who brandished the champagne bottle during the melee.

Garda Colm Kelly, of Pearse Street Garda Station, said people who had attended two Christmas parties bumped into each other outside Doyle's pub and a row broke out that ended up outside the Westin Hotel.



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The men kicked and punched each other but no assault charges were brought.

The court heard Reid had been accepted into Sandhurst Military Academy in Britain.

He had been "a little bit more involved" in the incident than Smith. His lawyer said it was one of the other men who produced the champagne bottle and Reid intervened.

A conviction would have serious implications for him and his lawyer asked Judge David McHugh to leave him with a clean record.

Neither defendant had any previous convictions and had not been in trouble since.

Judge McHugh said he accepted that there had been two separate groups of people who had confronted each other.

He also noted that Reid "appeared to have been the protagonist".

A third man had already been dealt with by the court.

aphelan@herald.ie


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