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Dad and son face trial over 'house brawl'

A JUDGE has refused to dismiss assault charges against a man accused of headbutting a garda sergeant and leaving him concussed at the scene of an "out-of-control" domestic row.

The defence in the case against Paul Rooney Jnr had claimed that garda evidence was so "riddled" with contradictions and inconsistencies that it was "unreliable".

His lawyer argued he had no case to answer on charges of assaulting the sergeant, who has a heart condition, as well as a second officer during the melee in north inner city Dublin.

The defence had also asked Judge Catherine Murphy to dismiss related public order charges against the accused's father, Paul Rooney Snr, and a third man, Barry Ronan, who are both alleged to have intervened in his arrest.

But Judge Murphy has ruled that all but one of the charges against the three men would proceed and the accused will have to give evidence.

Rooney Jnr (28), of Bargy Road, East Wall, is pleading not guilty to assaulting Sgt Karl Mackle and Garda Shane Redmond, as well as public intoxication and causing a breach of the peace. His father, Paul Rooney Snr (53), of the same address, is denying obstruction, while Barry Ronan (26), of Seaview Avenue, Church Road, East Wall, is pleading not guilty to breach of the peace and failing to obey garda directions. The case was adjourned.


Judge Murphy acknowledged that there were inconsistencies in the prosecution evidence. However, she said these were not sufficient to warrant a dismissal of the remaining charges.

Gardai were originally called to the scene at the junction of Caledon Road and East Road at 3.20am on June 26, 2010, following a report that criminal damage had been caused to Rooney Jnr's partner's home.

The court heard previously that officers had gone to a reported domestic violence incident but the situation escalated with Rooney as the alleged "main aggressor" and "all hell broke loose".

The prosecution alleged that Rooney Jnr became verbally abusive, then resisted arrest and struck and held on to Garda Redmond by his stab vest before headbutting and punching Sgt Mackle in the face.

Garda Kieran O'Rourke alleged that Rooney Snr was initially trying to calm his son down, but began to make things worse and allegedly swung punches.

He said the incident involving Rooney Jnr developed into what resembled a "rugby scrum".