Historian fined for ‘fracas’ after anti-racism march in Dublin
Donal Fallon (31) said his group had felt ‘under siege’ from men shouting Nazi slogans
The judge said he would take the unusual step of imposing section 100 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 which would avoid Fallon having a conviction on his record that might have consequences in the future.
An historian who was involved in a “fracas” in a city centre pub has been fined for his role in a confrontation between two groups following an anti-racism march.
Donal Fallon (31), who was part of an anti-racism march against the group Pegida, said his group had felt “under siege” after men he believed were shouting Nazi slogans came into the bar.
Fallon, of Palmerstown Avenue, Palmerstown, pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder at Living Room, Findlater Street in the city on February 6th 2016.
Judge Martin Nolan noted there had been certain difficulties between fascist elements and their counterparts in the city on the day. He said Fallon was in a pub that evening when there were difficulties between his group and another group of young men that arrived.
He said it seemed Fallon’s arm could be seen moving on the CCTV and the Garda thought it was possible he threw an item at the other group.
Judge Nolan noted Fallon was a well-known historian who had very good mitigation, including that he cooperated with gardaí, made admissions, pleaded guilty and had no previous convictions.
He said Fallon was a man of a good age and should have known better, but there had been no repeat of the behaviour in the five years since these events.
The judge noted that there was no evidence he struck anyone and that overall, his involvement was not that injurious, despite contributing to the overall fracas.
He said he would take the unusual step of imposing section 100 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 which would avoid having a conviction on his record that might have consequences in the future.
Judge Nolan imposed a €500 fine and conditions including that Fallon gather €2,000 within six months. He indicated a sentence of nine months which would be imposed if the conditions are not met and deferred sentence for six months.
Seven men who were involved in the violent disorder onboard a Luas tram on the same day received fully suspended sentences in November 2019.
Sergeant Colin Davidson told Kate Egan BL, prosecuting, that there had been confrontations in the city on the day between the group Pegida and the Irish Anti Racism Network.
He said there had been an earlier confrontation on a Luas in which Fallon was present, but was not charged with any offence. He said there was then a further confrontation in the Living Room bar in which CCTV appeared to show Fallon throw an item.
Fallon admitted being present and could not say if a glass or bottle had been thrown, the court heard. He did not believe his actions were violent and did not throw punches.
He said he had been annoyed and “taken the bait.” He admitted it was scary for the others.
Sgt Davidson agreed that Fallon felt his group was “under siege” in the bar and that Fallon told gardaí he thought the other group was shouting Nazi slogans. CCTV of the incident had no audio.
He agreed that Fallon told gardaí he had no recollection of throwing anything but might have done it in the moment.
Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, said his client was a historian who had written a number of books and was heavily involved in charitable work in his community and fundraising for a number of organisations.
He handed in testimonials to court which he said outlined his client’s generosity of spirit and civic mindedness.
Mr Le Vert said Fallon was deeply conscious that someone could have been hurt, apologised and never intended to come before the courts again.