Coalisland man’s disorderly charge arose out of bare knuckle fight incident

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A Coalisland man has been fined for disorderly behaviour arising out of a bare knuckle fight between members of the same travelling family.

Charlie McDonagh, 44, from Birneys Square, appeared at Dungannon Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

The court heard how the offence occurred on the morning of November 30 last year. Several members of the public alerted police to a brawl that had broken out at the forecourt of Ballygawley Road filling station.

When police arrived, they found the filling station forecourt packed with vans and spectators.

The court heard how the two men involved in the bare knuckle fight had been fined £150 and £100 for their behaviour at earlier sittings of Dungannon court.

Charlie McDonagh had complained to police that he had been assaulted by his relative, however, he had not been involved in the actual fight himself, the defence solicitor told the court.

CCTV footage showed that one of the travellers had been filling a fuel can when he began shouting and gesturing at another traveller who had pulled into the forecourt. When the other driver gestured back, the man put down the can and adopted a fighting stance. The footage then showed two men occasionally trading blows, before being separated by the spectators, and then resuming to their fighting stances.

The defence solicitor told the court that CCTV evidence proved that Charlie McDonagh did not trade any blows. The fight started when his nephew appeared on the scene. Judge Gerry Trainor fined McDonagh £100.