Discharged from violent disorder charge

by Gazette Reporter
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An historian who was involved in a “fracas” in a city centre pub and was fined for his role in a confrontation between two groups following an anti-racism march has been released from the indictment after meeting conditions set by the sentencing judge.

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 6, 2016.

At the original sentencing date in April 2021, Judge Martin Nolan indicated he would impose section 100 of the Criminal Justice Act 2006 which would avoid Fallon having a conviction on his record if he met certain conditions.

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 sentencing for six months.

Last week Pieter Le Vert BL, defending, told the court that the money had been paid over and asked that Fallon be released from the indictment. Judge Nolan acceded to the application.

A further €1,000 was fundraised by Fallon for the Capuchin Day centre and €200 for another charity.

At the hearing in April, Judge 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 seems Fallon’s arm can be seen moving on the CCTV and the garda thinks 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 co-operated with gardai, made admissions, pleaded guilty and has 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.

Mr Le Vert said his client was an 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. He said Fallon was “in a dark place” at the time and was diagnosed with depression.

Mr Le Vert said Fallon was deeply conscious that someone could have been hurt, apologised and never intended to come before the courts again.

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