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Nightclub bouncers were just defending themselves – judge

TWO men who claimed they were beaten up in an unprovoked attack by nightclub security men have lost their High Court action.

Scaffolder Robert Cumiskey (38) and taxi-driver Lee Hennessy (39) had sued Templeville Developments, trading as Barcode nightclub, at the Westwood Gym, Clontarf, Dublin, over the incident on October 17, 2004, when they were refused entry to the club.

Mr Justice Kevin Feeney yesterday dismissed their claim for damages, saying he was satisfied they had started the incident and the security men had responded in self-defence.

"When two fit athletic men resort to violence, they can only expect violence will be used in response," he said.

He said he found the evidence of security man Michael Reilly to be more credible than that of the two men.

He was satisfied Mr Cusmiskey, a father of five of Grattan Lodge, Donaghmede, and Mr Hennessy, a father of four from Leinster Street, North Strand, both Dublin, were the first to resort to violence.


The court heard as part of a garda investigation into the matter, the CCTV recording of the night was requested within days of the incident, but the wrong tape was supplied in error and by the time this was realised, the correct tape had been wiped.

The judge said the tape would have had a major bearing on the case and the fact that a tape was supplied, dated after the gardai had made their request, amounted to carelessness or recklessness.

The two men claimed they were punched, knocked to the ground and kicked for no reason other than that they were questioning why they were no being allowed in to the club.

Michael Reilly, the security man that night, told the court they were told they were not getting in as they were not regulars and the club was full.

The incident started when Mr Hennessy ran through the gate and attacked another bouncer while Mr Cumiskey attacked Mr Reilly, he said.

He also said Mr Hennessy told one of the bouncers to "go back to his own country" and also threatened to return to the club later armed with weapons.