Man who failed in bid to sue U2 for €12m fined over hospital disturbance

Maurice Kiely (62), pleaded guilty at to engaging in threatening, abusive, and insulting words or behaviour at St James’s Hospital

Musician Maurice Kiely: failed in his bid to sue U2 over authorship rights to a song that appeared on their album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb. Photograph: Collins Courts

A musician has avoided jail for a disturbance in a Dublin hospital on the day of his failed €12m damages action against U2 in a disputed claim that he wrote one of their songs.

Maurice Kiely (62), pleaded guilty at Dublin District Court on Monday to engaging in threatening, abusive, and insulting words or behaviour at St James’s Hospital on April 19th.

The charge carries a possible three-month jail sentence, but he left court with a €200 fine.

Judge Treasa Kelly heard that gardaí were alerted that Kiely was being discharged from the hospital but he “became abusive to staff” in the ward.

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“He also remained abusive until the point of arrest,” the court was told.

A charge was dropped for failing to comply with a garda’s direction to leave the vicinity.

Representing himself, Kiely, with an address at the Simon Community, Barrack Street, Dundalk, Co Louth maintained that he had been referred to the hospital by his doctor. He claimed that was due to having suffered deep vein thrombosis, which was life-threatening.

However, he maintained, he was refused an operation and “I was in fear for my life”.

Kiely, on crutches, stood and told the judge he wanted legal action taken for “serious criminal negligence” against the hospital.

“I was in fear for my life. If the clot in my veins broke off and went into my lungs, it could be fatal”, he told the court.

Judge Kelly heard Kiely had eight prior convictions for public order offences, which resulted in fines.

She told him that there were other patients in the hospital in need of care and it was not the appropriate time or place for his behaviour.

The judge noted his guilty plea and spared him a custodial sentence. However, she recorded a conviction with the fine that must be paid within four months.

The incident in St James’s Hospital happened on the day of his failed High Court action.

Kiely had sued U2 Ltd, a limited liability company linked to the band, claiming he wrote the song A Man and A Woman in 1998.

He alleged he performed it for US model Cindy Crawford, but that the band recorded it for their 11th studio album How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb in 2004.

However, U2 Ltd denied his claims and argued that Bono, otherwise known as Paul Hewson, penned the lyrics and that all four members of the band composed the music.

Mr Justice Mark Sanfey struck out the entire proceedings on April 19th.