Conor McGregor fined €1,000 for assaulting man in Dublin pub

UFC fighter has paid compensation to victim of attack, court heard

Mixed martial arts fighter Conor McGregor has been fined €1,000 for punching a man in the face in a south Dublin pub earlier this year.

McGregor (31) of Lady Castle, Straffan, Co Kildare was convicted of assaulting Desmond Keogh at the Marble Arch Pub, Ben Bulben Road, Drimnagh on April 6th, 2019 when he appeared at Dublin District Court on Friday.

The fighter, who pleaded guilty, stood up and apologised in court stating that “nothing of this nature will happen again”.

CCTV footage of the incident, which has been widely circulated on social media in recent months, was also shown to the court.


McGregor’s solicitor Michael Staines told Judge Treasa Kelly the victim, who was not present in court, had been paid compensation, though the amount was not disclosed.

“What I done was very wrong and I would like to apologise again to the injured party and today before the court,” McGregor told the court.

“I assure you that nothing of this nature will happen again.”

Wearing a navy suit, white shirt and blue tie, he sat silently for the rest of the hearing, with his hands resting on his lap.

Garda Jason O’Carroll, from Crumlin Garda station said Mr Keogh had entered the pub at around noon on April 6th last and at 1.30pm decided he wanted to leave and ordered a taxi.

The garda said McGregor entered the pub at 2.30pm and began talking to men and later handed a bottle of Proper 12 whiskey to the barman to give to other patrons in the pub.

The court heard Mr Keogh was offered the whiskey and declined a glass on three occasions.

Garda O’Carroll said that CCTV showed McGregor approaching Mr Keogh but he was stopped by two men and ushered away. Moments later, McGregor was speaking to a man to the left of the victim when he turned quickly and punched Mr Keogh on the left side of his face with a closed fist, Garda O’Carroll said. Mr Keogh was looking away from McGregor at the time, he said.

McGregor was subsequently removed from the pub.

Previous convictions

The court heard McGregor has 18 previous convictions, the majority of which are in relation to road traffic offences. He has a previous assault conviction from 2009 when he was an apprentice plumber.

Mr Staines said what happened was wrong and that McGregor had accepted this and apologised to Mr Keogh. He said Mr Keogh had accepted this apology and had no physical or lasting injuries from the assault.

Mr Staines said McGregor had been annoyed that Mr Keogh had refused the drink.

Asking for leniency, Mr Staines said his client is an athlete and is currently training for a fight.

He said McGregor’s fights take place in the US and a further conviction could pose difficulties when securing a visa in the future.

The solicitor said the fighter’s “whole career is in jeopardy” with a further conviction and that McGregor shouldn’t be treated any better or any worse than any other person being sentenced for the same offence.

Judge Kelly noted the early guilty plea from McGregor and that he had shown remorse.

She said she was satisfied compensation had been paid to Mr Keogh and convicted McGregor of assault, fining him €1,000 with a month to pay the sum.

The fighter arrived at the Criminal Courts of Justice on Parkgate Street, Dublin, just after 10am in a blacked out Range Rover and was escorted into the courthouse as members of the public and media photographed him.

Mr Staines indicated to the court just after 11am that his client intended to plead guilty to the charge.

State prosecutor Stephanie Doyle insisted that CCTV footage be shown to the court and the matter was adjourned until 2pm.

Ms Doyle said the victim did not want to make a victim impact statement.

McGregor and Mr Keogh were not known to each other prior to the incident.

Judge Kelly gave her decision just after 2.30pm and McGregor was escorted from the courthouse shortly afterwards to the Range Rover.

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns

Sarah Burns is a reporter for The Irish Times