Gemma O’Doherty appeal of conviction adjourned until October

Case arose out of anti-vaccination protest in August 2020 during which banners were on a pedestrian bridge over the N11

An appeal by the former journalist Gemma O’Doherty against a District Court conviction arising our of an anti-vaccination protest, has been adjourned until October 17th.

O’Doherty was convicted of threatening and abusive behaviour, resisting arrest, and refusing to give her name and address to a garda, at Bray District Court in Co Wicklow, last September. The charges arose out of an incident which involved the placing of banners on a pedestrian bridge over the N11, Dublin to Wexford road at Kilmacanogue Co Wicklow, in August 2020.

She received a two-month suspended sentence and a fine of €750 for the public order offences. She lodged an appeal against the conviction to Wicklow Circuit Court.

At Wicklow Circuit Court on Monday solicitor Brendan Moloney for O’Doherty told Judge Patrick Quinn the District Court case last September had lasted a full day. State solicitor Rory Benville also recalled the case had taken up some time and the parties agreed to a date of October 17th for the appeal hearing.

Judge Quinn said he would be available to hear the case at 10am on that date, instead of the more usual 10.30am start.

The District Court sitting in September heard gardai give evidence they had received a number of complaints about the banners, which contained anti-face mask and anti-vaccination messages. They said they decided to remove them after observing motorists swerving as a result of being distracted by the signs.

O’Doherty was not in court when the case was mentioned on Monday.

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien

Tim O'Brien is an Irish Times journalist