Trio face trial for heckling Michael D Higgins during water protest

Two men and woman from Dublin accused of abusing president

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins: was allegedly abused during a water protest at Cappagh Road in Finglas in Dublin on January 23rd. Photograph:  Collins

President of Ireland Michael D Higgins: was allegedly abused during a water protest at Cappagh Road in Finglas in Dublin on January 23rd. Photograph: Collins

 

Three protesters accused of engaging in threatening and abusive language which was allegedly directed at President Michael D Higgins will face trial in March.

The abuse was allegedly directed at President Michael D Higgins during a water protest at Cappagh Road in Finglas in Dublin on January 23rd.

Two men and a woman from Dublin are facing trial at Dublin District Court: Derek Byrne (36), of Streamville Rd, Kilbarrack, Anna Clarke (35) from St Donagh’s Road, Donaghmede, and Diarmuid Dubhghlais (41) of Parc Ui Mhaoiliosa, Finglas,

They faced their second hearing on Monday, when not guilty pleas were entered.

The Public Order Act charge can result in a fine and a sentence of up to three months. Solicitor Cahir O’Higgins, who acts for two of the defendants said there will be an issue as to whether the president can called to give evidence in the trial. He said Mr Byrne and Anna Clarke will have a quite a few witnesses.

Mr Byrne was present but did not address the court. Ms Clarke is out of the jurisdiction, Mr O’Higgins said.

He explained that she had contacted him “in somewhat distraught state and advised she had been unaware of proceedings and has not been served, I understand the sergeant will say a summons was served on member of her family”

Judge Michael Walsh ordered that Mr Byrne and Ms Clarke will face their non-jury district court trial over two days, March 8th and 9th next year.

He acceded to a request from solicitor Malachy Steenson to set a separate trial date for Mr Dubhghlais who will have his trial heard in Irish.

Mr Steenson was also granted an order for disclosure of all prosecution statements and evidence in Irish. Mr Dubhghlais’s trial will take place at the district court on March 10th next.