Man damaged Eamon de Valera’s grave in ‘moment of madness’

John Moore (57) accused of criminal damage to headstone in Glasnevin cemetery

John Moore (57) arrives at  Dublin District Court where he is charged with causing criminal damage to Eamon de Valera’s headstone in Glasnevin cemetery. Photograph: Collins Courts

John Moore (57) arrives at Dublin District Court where he is charged with causing criminal damage to Eamon de Valera’s headstone in Glasnevin cemetery. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A Dublin man accused of vandalising the headstone of former president and taoiseach Eamon de Valerahas told a court it was a “moment of madness”.

John Moore (57), of Cherrymount Crescent, Clontarf, was charged earlier with causing criminal damage to Eamon de Valera’s headstone and unlawful possession of knives in connection with the alleged incident on January 25th last at Glasnevin cemetery in Dublin.

He faced his second hearing at Dublin District Court on Thursday when the case was listed for directions fromthe Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to be given.

He told the court he does not have a solicitor and when asked by Judge Anthony Halpin if he would like to get one, Mr Moore replied: “No, I just beg for forgiveness, it was a moment of madness, I painfully regret doing it.”

Judge Halpin noted that directions from the DPP were not yet available and a Garda sergeant said there was a possibility of further charges.

Judge Halpin explained to Mr Moore that the directions were necessary and the DPP needed to make a decision on this matter.

Compensation

Mr Moore confirmed he knew how to get a solicitor and he told the court he would pay compensation.

When he first appeared in court, a day after the alleged incident, the judge had made it a bail condition that Mr Moore would not go back to the graveyard. The defendant asked for access and said he had a child buried in the cemetery and it was the anniversary recently.

Adjourning the case until June 1st, Judge Halpin told Mr Moore that may be decided on the next date.

The man then said, “It is an appalling thing I’ve done” and the judge interjected an told him not to say anything that may prejudice his innocence. He has not yet formally indicated how he will plead.

As a condition of bail he must also stay away from all members of the de Valera family, stay away from Glasnevin Cemetery, have no contact with the de Valera family or any of their properties or assets, sign on every Monday, Wednesday and Friday at Clontarf Garda station and reside at his current address.

Former taoiseach and Easter 1916 Rising commander Eamon de Valera died in 1975 and was buried in Glasnevin Cemetery.

The graveyard is the final resting place of a number of key figures in Irish history including Michael Collins, O’Donovan Rossa, Daniel O’Connell and Countess Markievicz and Charles Stewart Parnell.

At his first hearing, the court heard Mr Moore’s reply to the criminal damage charge was “I’m guilty” and his response to the second charge was “I had a hammer”.