Dublin's Krystle Nightclub responsible for bouncer's 'heinous' assault on female student

The venue is now liable for the €15,000 the woman was previously awarded.

By Saurya Cherfi

DUBLIN’S KRYSTLE NIGHTCLUB is just as responsible for a “heinous” assault on a student as the “private army” it employed to mount security on its premises, a judge has decided.

Circuit Court president Justice Raymond Groarke said Triglen Holdings, trading as Krystle Nightclub, had “engaged and let loose a private army”, a member of which had assaulted the 28-year-old student.

Judge Groarke had already awarded student Elaine Bennett €15,000 in damages for personal injuries she received at the club on ‘new year’s night 2014’, but had been asked to decide if P&B Security Services Ltd (now in liquidation) or Krystle Nightclub should pay.

Bennett claimed she was punched and kicked by female bouncer Dawn Cleary whose evidence, the judge said, he could not believe.

Judge Groarke today ruled that both defendants were jointly and severally liable to pay Bennett’s damages and legal costs. He said the nightclub had a responsibility to supervise the security company staff.

He said CCTV footage showed that Bennett, who was intoxicated, had pushed Cleary down the entrance stairs of the nightclub at Harcourt St, Dublin, but the bouncer’s “heinous” assault had been out of order.

28/1/2014 Krystle Nightclubs
Source: Mark Stedman/Photocall Ireland

Refused entry

Bennet, from Cork, had earlier told the court she had been celebrating the new year with friends when they decided to go to Krystle Nightclub.

She had stayed outside for a smoke and when she had wanted to get in, she was refused by the bouncers on grounds she was too drunk.

She told her barrister Mark O’Connell that she left the area but came back half an hour later as her friends were still inside and she was alone on the street. She was again refused entry.

When she had asked again to be let in, Cleary had suddenly attacked her, pulling her to the ground by her hair. She had been punched and kicked on her body and face before another security guard separated them.

She had gone to her GP a few days later, complaining of bruising on her face and body. Her wounds had left a permanent scar under her right eye.

Bennett, of Glenary, Glencoo Park in Cork, sued Triglen Holdings and P&B Security Services for negligence.

The defendants had denied liability and claimed Bennett had been racially abusive towards security staff, pushing Cleary down the stairs and calling her a bitch and a Polish lesbian. She had called another bouncer a “Polish bastard”.

Judge Groarke said that although the bouncers had an obligation to refuse Bennett entry because she was intoxicated, he was satisfied she had been viciously assaulted. She can now seek to recover damages and costs from either of the two defendants.

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