Wednesday 24 October 2018

'DNA, it's who we are' - Conor McGregor's father comes out fighting in support of son

Tony and Conor McGregor
Tony and Conor McGregor

Robin Schiller and Melanie Finn

THE parents of mixed martial arts star Conor McGregor have broken their silence after their son was charged with assault and damaging property at a UFC event in New York.

‘The Notorious’ appeared in a New York court on Friday, where a total of 22 counts have been filed against him, including two felony counts of criminal mischief.

Video footage emerged of McGregor throwing a trolley at a bus full of fighters after a news conference for UFC 223 at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center last Thursday.

He handed himself into police at 11pm and was taken to court the following day.

Despite being well known for his brash attitude on social media, the 29-year-old has remained silent since appearing in court.

However, his parents took to their Instagram accounts over the weekend to publicly support their son in the midst of the controversy.

Conor’s father Tony McGregor posted a picture of them, with the caption reading: “DNA, it’s who we are.” Meanwhile, his mother Margaret posted a message simply reading: “Love you Conor”.

It is understood that McGregor has remained in the US since being released on bail after posting a bond of $50,000 (€41,000).

According to court documents, he is charged with 22 counts including menacing with a weapon, criminal mischief, reckless endangerment, attempted assault and assault.

The majority of these charges are misdemeanours, while two counts of criminal mischief are felony counts, which are considered more serious offences.

Under New York State Law third degree mischief – where damage of another person’s property is valued at over $250 – is punishable by up to four years’ imprisonment.

The more serious charge, criminal mischief in the second degree, carries a maximum term of seven years’ imprisonment.

The Class D felony, where damage is in excess of $1,500, is the most serious count McGregor is facing. However, it has been widely reported that he is unlikely to face that much jail time, if any.

McGregor’s manager Audie Attar released a statement over the weekend in which he criticised apparent “misinformation” being spread.

“So much rumour and misinformation about my client, Conor McGregor. The matter is in the hands of law enforcement

and I can’t really say more,” Mr Attar said. “Conor is a great father, a fiercely loyal friend and one of the best athletes in the world. He looks forward to getting back to fighting as soon as possible.”

In the aftermath of the incident, UFC president Dana White said that McGregor had been in contact to express his regret at a number of fighters being injured.

He said that the UFC fighter texted: “I’m sorry about Mike, and I’m sorry about Rose, and whoever else, but this had to be done!”

Meanwhile, McGregor has potentially left himself open to millions of dollars in compensation claims and Mr White slammed his behaviour.

“This is the most disgusting thing that has ever happened in the history of the company,”  he said. “You can imagine he’s going to be sued beyond belief and this was a real bad career move for him.”

During the court hearing in Brooklyn, McGregor’s fellow Irish MMA fighter Cian Cowley (25) was hit with five counts, including two felony charges of criminal mischief. He was released on bail of $25,000.

Judge Connie Mallafre-Melendez also issued protection orders against both men, instructing them to stay away from a number of named individuals. They are due to appear before the Brooklyn court again on June 14.

On Saturday, the UFC released more footage of the bizarre incident, which shows McGregor with a large entourage as he tries to confront MMA fighter Khabib Nurmagomedov.

‘The Notorious’ can be heard shouting “come on you mad rat” as he attacks the bus with his fists.

He can then be seen grabbing a hand trolley as someone shouts at him to stop.

However, McGregor proceeds to throw the trolley at the bus, smashing the window and injuring fighter Michael Chiesa, who is later seen with blood dripping from his forehead.

McGregor is then seen trying to lift a crash barrier and a bin before being restrained.

Details of the allegations against McGregor and Cowley were read out in court by a state prosecutor, who said: “As to defendant McGregor, judge, he was captured on video surveillance picking up a chair and throwing it at a passenger window of that bus, causing injuries to several individuals inside the bus.

“I would note, judge, that one of two individuals that sustained injuries sustained bruising and swelling to the cheek and corneal abrasion.”

McGregor’s attorney, Jim Walden, asked the judge to allow his client to travel and “pursue his craft”.

Mr Walden said: “We’ve agreed to a bail package so they can travel internationally so they can pursue their sport and their craft. Suffice to say, your honour, that my client self-surrendered.”

Herald

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