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'Loving' couple beat up barman in drinks row

A COUPLE who viciously beat a barman when he refused to serve them because they were drunk have been jailed for three months.

Claire O'Reilly (27) and Daniel Clifford (30), described in court as a "loving" couple with two children, set upon the victim at his pub in west Dublin, kicking him in the face and punching him.

Judge Victor Blake sentenced them saying they were both "in it together".

The accused, of Oak Downs, Clondalkin, both admitted assaulting barman Ken Dunne in the incident at the Belgard Inn, Tallaght on February 7, 2009. Clifford also admitted public drunkenness and causing a breach of the peace.

Garda Eric Scurry told the court he was called to the pub at 12.10am. O'Reilly was kneeling outside the premises when they got to the scene and when they entered, they found Clifford shouting at the bar staff.

He was escorted outside, where both accused then became aggressive. They were both arrested and brought to Tallaght Garda Station.

Garda Scurry said the barman had believed the accused were intoxicated when he refused them service. Both accused became aggressive and O'Reilly threw glasses at him. She had to be restrained and a scuffle ensued in which O'Reilly kicked Mr Dunne in the face, grazing him. He also received punches and kicks from Clifford.

Defence barrister Ronan Prendergast said both accused had been heroin addicts for ten years until O'Reilly got pregnant with their second child and the couple detoxed together.

"These two people are in a loving relationship," Mr Prendergast said. "They fully accept that they were in the wrong."

Judge Blake said: "These people say they have two children but they were out drinking and Mr Dunne was viciously assaulted in the course of his employment."

Jailing them, he said: "They were both in it together."