Criminal Justice (Public Order) Act 1994



16.(1) Where—

(a) two or more persons at any place (whether that place is a public place or a private place or both) use or threaten to use violence towards each other, and

(b) the violence so used or threatened by one of those persons is unlawful, and

(c) the conduct of those persons taken together is such as would cause a person of reasonable firmness present at that place to fear for his or another person's safety,

then, each such person who uses or threatens to use unlawful violence shall be guilty of the offence of affray.

(2) For the purposes of this section—

(a) a threat cannot be made by words alone;

(b) no person of reasonable firmness need actually be, or be likely to be, present at the place where the use or threat of violence occurred.

(3) A person shall not be convicted of the offence of affray unless the person intends to use or threaten to use violence or is aware that his conduct may be violent or threaten violence.

(4) A person guilty of an offence of affray shall be liable—

(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding F15[1,000] or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both,

(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 5 years or to both.

(5) The common law offence of affray is hereby abolished.




Substituted (30.07.2008) by Intoxicating Liquor Act 2008 (17/2008), s. 22 and sch. 2, S.I. No. 286 of 2008. A fine of €1,000 translates into a class D fine, not greater than €1,000, as provided (4.01.2011) by Fines Act 2010 (8/2010), ss. 3, 7(3) and table ref. no. 1, S.I. No. 662 of 2010.

Editorial Notes:


Persons convicted of offence under section may be subject to restriction on movement orders as provided (2.10.2006) by Criminal Justice Act 2006 (26/2006), s. 101 and sch. 3 para. 1, S.I. No. 390 of 2006.


Offences under section deemed “serious offences” for the purpose of refusal of bail (4.09.1998) by Bail Act 1997 (16/1997), ss. 1, 2 and sch. paras. 28, 29, 30, S.I. No. 315 of 1998.