Man charged with criminal damage


A 28-year-old unemployed man has been charged with criminal damage following an egg attack on Tánaiste Eamon Gilmore’s ministerial BMW car in Dublin today.

Mr Gilmore was attending an event to promote the children’s rights referendum this morning when his car was allegedly attacked by protesters at about 11am at the Blackditch Road, in Ballyfermot.

Seventy children were in The Base, a childcare centre, for Unicef’s launch of their support for the children’s rights referendum.

Mr Gilmore was with Minister for Children Frances Fitzgerald and had been due to launch the charity’s campaign for the poll which is to be held on November 10th. The Tánaiste abandoned the event after the alleged incident.

A demonstration was staged following reports that the Government plans to cut children’s allowance payments in the Budget.

Following his arrest, Daniel Kelly was brought before Judge Patricia McNamara at Dublin District Court. Mr Kelly, who lives at Harold’s Cross Road, Dublin 6, was accused of criminal damage to the ministerial car, a 5-Series BMW property of An Garda Síochána’s transport section, and he also faces a breach of the peace charge.

Mr Kelly, wearing black hoody, navy body-warmer, black trousers and runners, did not address the court during the brief hearing in which Judge McNamara was told that less than €200 worth of damages was believed to have been caused to the car. The DPP has directed that the case should be dealt with in the district court.

However, Judge McNamara deferred ruling on the issue of jurisdiction - whether the case should stay in the District Court or instead go to the Circuit Court which has wider sentencing powers - in relation to the criminal damage charge. She said that would be determined when the exact value of the damage was known.

Defence solicitor Maura Kiely said Mr Kelly, who has not yet indicated how he will plead to the charges, was agreeable to obeying a bail condition “to stay away from public events where Government ministers are in attendance.”

Legal aid was granted to Mr Kelly, who is on social welfare, and he was remanded on bail in his own bond of €300 to appear again on October 26th.

The court also heard that it was not yet known if there was CCTV footage of the alleged incident and gardaí were directed to hand over copies of the prosecution’s evidence to Mr Kelly’s lawyer.