NZ Herlad

Hugging Irishman hit with fine

IRISHMAN Padraig Naughton apparently just wanted a few hugs after his country was knocked out of the Rugby World Cup.

But he ended up creating a public nuisance and got booked by Mackay police.

Naughton, 29, who is on an extended working holiday in Mackay, was outside a nightclub in Victoria St on October 9 and it was the night that Wales qualified for the World Cup semi-final by beating Ireland 22-10.

Naughton was dressed in his favourite Irish rugby shirt and was approaching people who were trying to enter the nightclub, prosecutor Bimal Raut said in the Mackay Magistrate's Court today.

A female employee of the nightclub, who was working at the entrance, and several security officers complained to police as the officers walked by.

Naughton had his footy shirt pulled up over his head and was warned three times to pull it down.

He pleaded guilty in court today to a public nuisance charge and duty lawyer Phillip Moore said: "He co-operated with police, even though it took three requests to pull his shirt down."

The luck of the Irish was with Naughton yesterday because he was placed on a $400, 12-month good behaviour bond and no conviction was recorded.

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