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Scot free Scot knocked out man who racially abused him in Dublin pub spared conviction

He maintained the victim had called him a “Scottish p**ck” and used other “racial slurs” during a disagreement about a moved pint.

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 Gordon Kirkland of St Patrick's Road, Greenhills, Dublin.

Gordon Kirkland of St Patrick's Road, Greenhills, Dublin.

Gordon Kirkland of St Patrick's Road, Greenhills, Dublin.

A PUBGOER punched another man off a stool in a Dublin bar after the victim racially abused him for being Scottish, a court heard.

Truck driver Gordon Kirkland (47) struck the man several times in the face, causing him to fall unconscious to the floor.

He maintained the victim had called him a “Scottish p**ck” and used other “racial slurs” during a disagreement about a moved pint.

Kirkland, a father-of-two of St Patrick’s Road, Greenhills, Dublin pleaded guilty to assaulting the man, causing him harm.

Judge Brian O’Shea applied the Probation Act, sparing Kirkland a conviction after hearing that the injured party had declined to make a victim impact statement.

“It’s obvious to me now why,” the judge said.

Dublin District Court heard the accused was drinking at Rory O’Connor’s pub, Walkinstown at 5.30pm on December 8, 2019.

The victim was sitting on a barstool when Kirkland punched him several times in the face. He fell off the stool and lost consciousness “for a minute or two,” the court heard.

An ambulance was called but the victim did not avail of medical attention.

He later reported the assault to gardai.

The court heard Kirkland and the victim knew each other and drank in the same pub but were not friends.

The man did not wish to make a victim impact statement or attend court, a garda sergeant said.

Kirkland was originally from Scotland but had lived in Ireland for “quite a period of time,” his barrister John Griffin said.

He was in full time employment as a heavy goods vehicle driver, transporting materials around the country.

On the day, there was a match on in the pub and Kirkland got up and went to the bathroom. When he got back, his pint and chair had been moved and “words were had” with the complainant.

“Some racial slurs” were mentioned toward Kirkland and he reacted by assaulting the victim, Mr Griffin said. “The racial slurs were related to Scotland,” he added.

The sergeant read from the accused’s statement, saying he told gardai the victim opened with a “barrage of abuse,” pointed at his face and said “you Scottish pr**k, you Scottish c**t.”

Kirkland said this was “racist crap” and the victim was being told to calm down by a friend.

“I genuinely thought he was going to hit me so I got in first,” Kirkland said, adding he took a “couple of swings” and was “not proud of it.”

Kirkland had no prior convictions and had written a letter of apology.

Judge O’Shea read a letter in which he said the proprietor of the bar described the accused as a “gentleman” who had attended the pub for more than 10 years and was always “very pleasant and polite.”

Judge O'Shea said it was “difficult to reconcile” this with the assault, notwithstanding the fact that the victim was the person who was injured.

It seemed Kirkland thought the other man was about to hit him, but pleaded guilty.

“There is no victim impact statement and it’s obvious to me now why there isn’t,” the judge said.

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