CHARITY boss Niall Mellon has vowed to remain alcohol-free for at least the next six months, after a drunken altercation with gardai in a Dublin pub.
The well-known philanthropist was ordered to enter into a peace bond after he verbally abused gardai and bar staff at Taylor's Three Rock, Rathfarnham, in July last year.
And he has made the decision to refrain from alcohol until after the first anniversary of the incident.
The court heard that Mr Mellon told Garda Colin Noonan they were "all "b*****ds", in the pub which he claimed he still owns.
In a statement released on his behalf by his charitable organisation, the Niall Mellon Township Trust, he said that he is "glad the issue is over".
"I went out with a friend last July to celebrate something positive that had happened in his life and I ended up drinking too much alcohol and I regret that," Mr Mellon said yesterday.
The businessman said that he has not taken one drink since the incident on July 12 last year, and that he may remain alcohol-free in the future.
"After this event, I had a choice to make, drink more and get used to it or drink none. I went for the none," he said.
"I may drink alcohol again in the future but not until at least a year has passed from that night in July 2013."
Mr Mellon, whose organisation builds homes for the poor in South Africa, got into trouble with gardai after he called them to the pub claiming a group was dealing drugs on the premises and that he wanted them removed.
Sergeant Bernard Jones said Mr Mellon was drunk, and there was a strong smell of alcohol off him. The sergeant said gardai spoke with the head barman who claimed Mr Mellon had been verbally abusive to staff and customers. Gardai were also told he was no longer the owner of the pub, which is under the control of NAMA.
Sgt Jones said gardai took Mr Mellon aside and told him to go home but he refused, saying the only way he was leaving was in the back of a patrol car.
Mr Mellon was given a number of chances to leave but he failed to do so, drunkenly telling Gda Noonan, "this is a bad moment in your career. I'll embarrass you in court, you're b*****ds". Sgt Jones said Mr Mellon continued to verbally abuse gardai, and that this behaviour continued back at the station.
Judge Anthony Halpin said Mellon was a public figure and his conduct was inexcusable. The judge ordered him to enter into a peace bond for one year.
The defendant, with an address at Brentwood Court in Manchester, admitted before Tallaght District Court to public drunkenness and threatening and abusive behaviour, at Taylor's Three Rock.
Mr Mellon said that he had been out for a meal in Dundrum and went on to Taylor's to celebrate a friend's good news.
He said he started drinking too early and had far too much to drink, but claimed there was a very hostile atmosphere in the pub.
He said he took over the pub in 1997 and he still owns it, refusing to sell it as the prices offered were not enough.
He also said he doesn't recall telling gardai he was concerned that drugs were being sold in the pub but claimed the incident arose after a man said something, and then it appeared someone was going to hit him a punch.
Mr Mellon said yesterday that he has received "lots of messages of support" from his nearly 20,000 strong group of volunteers.