Man Fined After Altercation With Punching-Bag Machine

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On July 9, a court in Ireland fined a man 2,000 euros for damage he caused to a punching-bag machine he punched at a local festival.

The court rejected his argument that he had acted only in anger after the machine punched him back.

The festival was being held in Carrickmacross, which as you probably know is in Monaghan about halfway between Cavanageeragh and Garlegobban. Carrickmacross has an annual family festival that features carnival games, music, jugglers, puppet shows, magicians, and the attraction that I personally would drive several hours to see, the exotic bird show known as “World of Owls.”

Among the carnival games featured, apparently, was a punching-bag game against which a man may test his strength by striking the bag as hard as he can. Should he hit hard enough, he wins a prize of some kind. He then feels a fleeting sense of accomplishment, which soon fades, to be replaced with an ever-deepening sense of the utter futility of life.

In this case, Paul Kelly said he had played the game and felt that the machine had unfairly denied him a payout, and when he hit it again in frustration, it popped back and “struck him a blow to the jaw.” That made him mad enough that he hit it again even harder—hard enough to break it. Apparently others witnessed the assault, and so although Kelly did win the fight, he was charged with damage to property, and was ultimately fined by the court.

Maybe Mr. Kelly can go after the manufacturer for selling a defective product. You’d think one of these things would be able to take a punch.