Homeless man charged over anti-lockdown protest is released after bail paid
Joseph Reynoldswas unable to raise a €50 needed as condition of bail, court told
His solicitor, Edward Bradbury, said in an affidavit he was one of ten to 13 defendants who came before the District Court on Saturday. Photograph: iStick
A 43-year-old homeless man charged after his arrest at Saturday’s anti-lockdown protest in Dublin wants the High Court to order his release from custody.
Joseph Reynolds was among a number who appeared before Dublin District Court on Saturday night in connection with the protest and all were granted their own bail on conditions including that they lodged cash of €50 or €100.
But because Mr Reynolds is homeless, on disability benefit and only had €7, he was unable to raise a €50 cash lodgement requirement and remained in custody.
On Monday, his lawyers applied to the High Court for an inquiry into the legality of his detention under the habeas corpus article 40 provision of the Constitution.
Mr Justice Charles Meenan said he would deal with the matter later on Monday to give the Office of the Chief State Solicitor and the DPP to be represented.
Mr Reynolds, who lives in the Longfields Hostel/Hotel in Fitzwilliam Square, Dublin, was charged with threatening and abusive behaviour in a public place.
His solicitor, Edward Bradbury, said in an affidavit he was one of ten to 13 defendants who came before the District Court on Saturday.
District Judge Michael Walsh granted bail on conditions that he comply with the Covid-19 health regulations, not take part in unlawful assemblies, be of good behaviour, reside at the address given and lodge €100 cash.
Mr Reynolds’ counsel asked the District Judge not to impose the cash lodgement a because he had nobody to provide support. The judge said he would reduce it to €50.
Mr Bradbury said the same counsel represented six other defendants arrested in the Saturday protest and they were all, without exception, remanded in custody by Judge Walsh on their own bond of €200 with a cash lodgment of €100. This was despite the fact the prosecution had not sought a cash lodgement, Mr Bradbury said.
In the challenge to his detention, it is claimed the requirement of a cash lodgement appeared to have been the consequence of an inflexible policy by the District Judge irrespective of Mr Reynolds’ personal circumstances.
The requirement of a lodgement was tantamount to a refusal of bail, it is claimed.