Teenager with sword outside Dáil ‘had no particular target’

Jordan Buckley faces Dublin District Court charged with unlawfully possessing weapon

Jordan Buckley (19), from Kells Road, Crumlin, is charged with unlawfully possessing a sword outside Leinster House. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Jordan Buckley (19), from Kells Road, Crumlin, is charged with unlawfully possessing a sword outside Leinster House. Photograph: David Sleator/The Irish Times.

Wed, Apr 30, 2014, 16:18

A Dublin youth caught “red-handed” armed with a sword in the front yard of Leinster House “had no particular target”, a court has heard.

Jordan Buckley (19), from Kells Road, Crumlin, is charged with unlawfully possessing a sword, contrary to Section 9.1 of the Firearms and Offensive Weapons Act, in connection with the incident yesterday.

He was remanded in custody with consent to conditional bail, which he has yet to take up. Once released, the jobless youth must stay away from all Government buildings and departments, “save the Department of Social Welfare”.

Officers from Pearse Street Garda station had arrested him on suspicion of possession of an offensive weapon, yesterday at about 4.30pm, after he reached the front plinth in the yard of Leinster House.

He was taken to Pearse Street Garda station and detained under the provisions of section 4 of the Criminal Justice Act 1984.

He was charged at midnight and held in the Garda station until he was brought to appear before Judge Michael Walsh at Dublin District Court this morning.

Garda Dwayne Conlon told Judge Walsh that the youth, who was dressed in a vest top and jeans, made “no reply after caution” when he was charged. The officer told the court he was objecting to bail citing the seriousness of the charge, which carries a maximum five-year sentence.

Garda Conlon said the teenager was caught “red handed” in the front yard of Leinster House. There were several eyewitnesses as well as CCTV evidence.

The teenager remained silent throughout the hearing while his parents watched proceedings from the public gallery.

Garda Conlon agreed with defence solicitor Paul Hannon that the youth had no history of criminality and there was no evidence of him having drink or drug issues.

Mr Hannon said his client had not had one particular person in mind as a target during the incident, and the garda replied, “not one person”.

The officer was satisfied that if the youth were released on bail he would not commit similar offences.

Judge Walsh set bail in the youth’s own bond of €750 but stated that €250 in cash must be lodged before Mr Buckley can be released. The teenager was told to stay out of Dublin 2 except when he has to attend consultations with his lawyer, and he has to remain sober.

The teen, once he takes up bail, must reside at an address in Kimmage, sign on at his local Garda station three times a week, be of sober habits and must stay away from all Government departments or buildings save for the dole office.

The youth has not yet entered a plea and directions from the DPP need to be obtained to decide whether the case should stay in the district court or go forward to the Circuit Court, which has tougher sentencing powers.