An Extinction Rebellion activist has had her case over a graffiti attack on a Government building in Dublin dismissed.
Orla Murphy (20) was charged with criminal damage for spray painting 'It's all for show' on the Department of Agriculture's building in Kildare Street in December.
She pleaded not guilty to the charge at the Criminal Courts of Justice in Dublin on Tuesday and walked away after her case was dismissed.
She told the PA news agency: “It got dismissed, so that’s it. Sin e. It got dismissed without prejudice so they could bring it back if they wanted to, but that’s it. I’m very happy. It’s great to have it out of the way.”
Members of Extinction Rebellion Ireland staged a protest outside the courthouse in support of Ms Murphy.
An activist, dressed as Lady Justice, held a scale with gold coins on one side and the Earth on the other, symbolising the Government putting profit before the planet.
Another activist wore a suit and mask to represent the state, as they used a rope to manipulate the scales.
Ms Murphy read out a statement while supporters gathered with flags and placards.
She said: “On the 4th of December I was arrested for the first time in my life. It’s something I never thought... would happen in my life.
“I was handcuffed for the first time, put in a Garda van for the first time, in a court for the first time, and stuck in a cell for the first time.
“I never thought that was something that would happen to me but I also never thought we would be heading for the potential extinction of the human race and that the climate crisis would get this bad.
“I didn’t think our Government would let it get this bad. I didn’t think people would be dying from a really fixable issue. I didn’t think we’d be ignoring it and turning a blind eye.”
She said she sprayed the Department of Agriculture building because of the sustainable development goals displayed on the building.
“Not only are our Government not doing anything about it they’ve the absolute cheek to put it up on a building like a promotional tool, like ‘aren’t we great’,” she said.
After the incident Ms Murphy was released on strict bail conditions banning her from Dublin 2 and other Government buildings.
But she spent 34 days in prison after she broke the bail conditions by entering Dublin 2 and spray painting the Department of Foreign Affairs in a similar protest in March.
Ms Murphy said her time in prison was “tough”.
“I spent five weeks in the Dochas centre,” she said. “That was tough, it was hard, I spent 10 days in isolation. So that’s 24 hours in a cell, you don’t get let out.
“Then I went into a 24-hour house after that so your cell door isn’t locked so it’s a bit better.”
She vowed that her time in prison would not deter her from taking further action.
“We have a ticking clock that is the climate crisis,” she said.
“People are dying, people are suffering, so if the Government want to throw the book at me then let them, but I’m not going to shut up because we’re right and they’re wrong.”–PA