A DUBLIN-based garda has been cleared of affray after a judge found he was entitled to kick a man who attacked his brother during a drunken brawl.
Off-duty garda Adrian Joyce (31), who is based in Pearse Street Station, was returning to his hotel following a stag night in Limerick when he and his brother, Nicholas Joyce (40), got caught up in a melee.
During a contested hearing, Limerick District Court was told the charge related to an incident at O'Connell Street, Limerick, in the early hours of July 7 last year.
The Joyce brothers, who are both originally from Co Mayo, were walking back to their hotel with a friend when David McCarthy (28) from Merval Park, Clareview, Limerick, purposely lowered his shoulder, hitting Nicholas Joyce as he walked against him on the street.
CCTV footage showed McCarthy - who pleaded guilty to affray - kept walking before being called back by the defendants and their friend.
An altercation ensued for several minutes, with the men moving from the footpath on to the street, forcing cars to stop or take evasive action.
During what was described as a "running street fight", McCarthy can be seen adopting a boxing stance which Insp Seamus Ruane referred to as being akin to Mohammad Ali.
Sgt Gerard Staunton recalled how after he asked McCarthy to move off the street he told him to "f***k off" before running at the other three men, punching at them which resulted in all four falling to the ground.
The court heard that both Sgt Staunton and a colleague saw Adrian Joyce kick David McCarthy while he was on the ground on top of his brother.
Both brothers were charged with causing an affray by using, or threatening to use, violence at O'Connell Street on July 7 last year.
It was submitted by defence counsel Michael Bowman (BL) that Adrian Joyce's actions were not unlawful as his motivation was to defend his brother who was "prone and vulnerable on the ground".
Following an application by Mr Bowman and Ted McCarthy representing Nicholas Joyce to have the charges dismissed, Judge Eugene O'Kelly agreed to do so.
McCarthy was told if he pays €750 into the court poor box by October 1 it will leave his record clean.