Free legal aid granted to 'Hardy Bucks' star for assault case

Free legal aid was granted today to “Hardy Bucks” actor Martin Maloney, who is accused of attacking three men in a popular Dublin.

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 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 this year became a box office hit in Irish cinemas.

The actor returned to TV screens in September when he appeared in 'Celebrity Apprentice', but the funnyman had a short run and became the first contestant to leave the reality show.

The 30-year-old made his second appearance at Dublin District Court today to face three assault charges.

Mr Maloney, who has an address at Bollingbrook Drive, Swinford, Co. Mayo, is accused of assaulting a male, at The Big Tree, on Dorset Street, in central Dublin, on October 9 last year.

The Mayo man also faces more serious charges under Section Three of the Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act for assault causing harm to two other men, on the same date at The Big Tree pub.

He made no reply when he was charged in September and has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges.

Judge Alan Mitchell heard today that directions from the DPP have yet to be obtained.

Garda Eamon Honan explained that this was due to the DPP's office having a difficulty viewing CCTV evidence in the case and his assistance has been required on that matter.

The DPP's directions are required to determine whether the case will be dealt with at District Court level or instead be sent forward to the Circuit Court, which, on conviction, has tougher sentencing powers.

Medical reports are also to be furnished to Mr Maloney's solicitor Tony Collier who asked for the decision on jurisdiction, in relation to the trial venue, to be adjourned.

Judge Mitchell ordered the actor, who is on bail, to appear again next month, when it is expected that the DPP's directions will have been received.

Today, the judge also agreed to grant free legal aid to Mr Maloney who had filled out a statement of his means showing that he did not have a weekly income in excess of €250. He had also given the garda a copy of his bank statements.

The court heard that when he was arrested the entertainer was in possession of €1,500 which his lawyer explained was payment for earlier work.

Mr Maloney also told the judge that some of the cash “was belonging to a few people as well”.

Mr Collier said his client is “an actor, in an impecunious position at this time”, adding that the entertainer does not have steady work and unable to fund legal fees.

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