Video: Engineer whacks solicitor with umbrella in Dublin city centre tiff

Frank Lunny
Frank Lunny

An environmental engineer has been spared a jail sentence for assaulting a solicitor with an umbrella after they bumped into each other on a rainy evening in Dublin.

David Christie (53) brought a private prosecution at Dublin District Court alleging he was assaulted by Frank Lunny (73), of Stewarts Hall, Parnell Street, Dublin 1, at Capel Street, on July 27 last year.

Lunny, who is a director of the management company of Mr Christie’s office building, was convicted and fined €100 and also ordered to pay prosecution costs.

It was a rainy and windy evening and both men had been walking with their umbrellas up at the time of the incident, Judge John O’Neill heard.

Mr Christie said he was the victim of a “cowardly” assault which has left him feeling “absolutely paranoid on the street when I see or hear someone behind me”.

He said he felt an “unmerciful bang” to his right leg from behind and that he was struck twice to his head with an umbrella by Mr Lunny. He told the court that they did not make contact with each other beforehand.

Mr Lunny denied assaulting him. He claimed that his leg had been hurt after he and the complainant passed each other and he went after the solicitor to demand an apology. He told the court he just “swished” Mr Christie’s umbrella with his own.

Judge O’Neill viewed CCTV footage and said he was satisfied there was an earlier incident and Lunny took offence and reacted badly. He also said that all Mr Christie’s evidence had not been corroborated.

Judge O’Neill said the footage showed two parties passing and Mr Lunny coming after Mr Christie. He said the footpaths on Capel Street are narrow but that did not give Lunny the right to run after Mr Christie and strike him.

The court heard that there had been High Court proceedings previously involving both men in connection with Mr Christie’s offices.

The solicitor told the court he walked to Capel Street to his office car park and was carrying a rucksack of heavy files over his right shoulder and he had an umbrella in his right hand.

He said that during the incident Lunny had called him a “f**king bastard”. He agreed that he thought he was hit with such force the umbrella broke. He said that he had a large bump on the back of his head.