AN altercation between Kerry footballer Paul Galvin and the producer of a satirical radio show at a landmark Dublin pub has been described as “handbags” by a senator.
Labour senator John Whelan said he was “surprised” gardaí were called to Keogh’s Pub on South Anne’s Street after the incident on Wednesday night.
It followed a row between Mr Galvin, who also works as a fashion columnist, James McDonald, producer of Nob Nation and Green Tea, and Nob Nation comic Oliver Callan.
Gardaí have confirmed an allegation of assault had been made by Mr McDonald against Mr Galvin and that the matter was being investigated.
It is understood that no formal statements have been taken yet, but Garda sources said that all parties would be interviewed.
Mr Whelan said he was with a group of politicians and journalists at a table in the popular pub, just off Grafton Street, at around 10.30pm.
He said he witnessed the entire incident, which happened at an adjacent table, where a number of the Nob Nation team were socialising, including Mr Callan and Mr McDonald.
“I have to be honest. At the time I thought it was a publicity stunt. Even when the gardaí came I felt it was a wind-up,” said the senator.
He said words had been exchanged between Mr Galvin and Mr McDonald.
“It happened beside me. There was a shoving, a lot of shouting and shaping. We tried to calm it down.
“Unfortunately for Paul Galvin he’s easy to wind up and he rose to the bait. He pushed him, but no blow was struck,” said Mr Whelan.
He added: “I do think it was blown out of proportion. It was a bit of a storm in tea cup, handbags really.”
He said Mr Galvin left afterwards and Mr McDonald rang the gardaí and they arrived within a few minutes.
Mr Whelan said he spoke to gardaí informally and told him what he saw.
A Garda spokesman said: “We are investigating an alleged assault at South Anne Street, Dublin 2, on the night of October 19.”
Sources said everyone involved, including witnesses, would be interviewed.
Attempts to contact Mr Galvin, Mr Callan and Mr McDonald were unsuccessful.
Paul Galvin is no stranger to controversy.
In 2008, he was suspended for six months following an incident in a Munster championship match against Clare during which he knocked a notebook from the hands of referee Paddy Russell.
The suspension was later reduced to 12 weeks, which enabled Mr Galvin to play in the All-Ireland final in which Tyrone beat Kerry.
In 2010, it was claimed that while teaching in St Brendan’s College, Killarney he threw a duster which hit a wall before striking a pupil.
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