'Essential' missing witness delays trial of Hardy Bucks' Maloney

A missing witness has delayed the trial of Hardy Bucks actor Martin Maloney who denies attacking two bouncers while he was making an appearance at a popular Dublin pub.

The 30-year-old, from Bollingbrook Drive, Swinford, Co. Mayo but now living in Sweden with his wife and child, was due to face a hearing at Dublin District Court today.

He faces two counts under Section 3 of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act for assault causing harm to Brian Smith and Mark O'Shaughnessy, at The Big Tree pub, on October 9, 2012, charges he denies.

The case was expected to take a full day but when it was called Judge Ann Watkin heard that the State was asking for an adjournment because an “essential” witness had not turned up.

The judge heard that the man who was supposed to testify for the prosecution had been subpoenaed and on Sunday last Mountjoy Garda Eamon Honan had spoke to the witness who was aware he had to come to court.

Defence counsel Cathal O Braonain asked for the case to be struck out saying this his client had travelled from Sweden and was attending therapy as a result of trauma he has suffered as a result of the incident.

He also asked the judge to note that it took approximately a year for the case to come before the courts.

Judge Watkin refused to throw the case out saying it was a serious charge and in the interest of justice it should proceed. A new trial date, in June, was then set.

However, the judge agreed to the prosecution's request to issue a warrant for the arrest for the absent witness, who is not one of the complainants.

In January, the district court was given an outline of the allegations to determine jurisdiction.

The court has heard that Mr Maloney is an actor on a RTE television programme and had been making a public appearance at the Big Tree when he became involved in an altercation with one of the security staff over the one-way queuing system at the toilets.

In an outline of the allegations, the court had heard it would be alleged that that he got Mr Smith in a headlock and held him on the ground. The court has also heard that it would be claimed that the actor was escorted by security staff to a fire exit, taken outside and then he allegeldy struck the second complainant Mr O'Shaughnessy.

It is expected that there will be up to eight prosecution witnesses as well as CCTV evidence.

Maloney became famous for playing the role of Eddie Durkan in the hit mock documentary programme which was set in a west of Ireland town and followed the antics of five down on their luck young men.

The popular cult comedy started out as “webisodes” broadcast online but was later picked up by RTE and the cast also went on to star in the feature film titled The Hardy Bucks Movie which became a box office hit in Irish cinemas.

In September last year the entertainer also appeared in TV3's Celebrity Apprentice.

Legal aid had been granted to the actor at an earlier stage after the court heard that his work is not steady and he is not able to fund legal fees.

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