Youth who ran into Dáil with sword gets community service

Jordan Buckley(19) used great-grandfather’s weapon from 1916 Rising, court hears

Jordan Buckley(19) from Kells Road, Crumlin, ran into the yard of Government buildings with the sword raised high and knives concealed in his clothing, Dublin District Court heard. Photograph: Collins Courts

Jordan Buckley(19) from Kells Road, Crumlin, ran into the yard of Government buildings with the sword raised high and knives concealed in his clothing, Dublin District Court heard. Photograph: Collins Courts

 

A “disaffected” Dublin youth, who used his great-grandfather’s sword from the 1916 Rising to stage a “one man rebellion” at Leinster House in April, has been sentenced to 200 hours’ community service.

Jordan Buckley(19) from Kells Road, Crumlin, ran into the yard of Government buildings with the sword raised high and knives concealed in his clothing, Dublin District Court heard today.

Judge Michael Walsh said the community service work must be carried out if Buckley is to avoid a 10-month jail sentence.

Buckley developed a “hair-brained scheme” because he could not find work and had issues with the Government’s austerity measures, the judge heard.

First-time offender Buckley pleaded guilty to trespassing with a weapon at Leinster House on April 29th last. He also admitted trespassing with intent to cause fear and resisting arrest in connection with the same incident.

The Dáil was not sitting on the day but members of the Oireachtas and the public were present. No one was injured during the incident.

Garda Dwayne Conlon told Judge Michael Walsh that at about 4.30pm he had been on duty at the front yard of Leinster House when Buckley, ran in “carrying a large sword in his hand”.

Garda Conlon said he drew his baton and Buckley came to halt and raised the sword “as if he was preparing to strike”.

The 19-year-old then ran around Garda Conlon and made for the doors of Leinster House. However the garda gave chase and caught up with Buckley who had reached the building’s revolving doors.

“I managed to grab him and pull him to the ground. He was still in possession of the sword and I ordered him to drop it,” Garda Conlon said.

During the struggle another garda hit Buckley with a baton to “get him to relinquish the sword”, after which the youth was arrested.

Garda Conlon said following the arrest he noticed three knives protruding from the accused’s clothing. Later that evening a fourth knife was found in the car park area.

Defence solicitor Paul Hannon said he wanted to give credit to Garda Conlon, “for his bravery in the line of duty”.

Mr Hannon asked the judge to note that Buckley, who has no prior criminal convictions, had left school early; he then had a “struggle finding work” and had issues with the Government’s austerity measures.

The garda agreed with Mr Hannon that it was “a misguided and ill-conceived stunt on the part of a disaffected youth”. The garda also agreed Buckley was co-operative after his arrest.

In pleas for leniency, Mr Hannon asked the judge to note that the it was not a premeditated incident. “The sword was his great grandfather’s sword from the 1916 rebellion”, said Mr Hannon adding that it was “family heirloom used for symbolic reasons”.

Mr Hannon said his client had no real interest in politics and except for the Taoiseach, he does not know what members of the Government look like.

The knives were for self-defence in case he came “under attack”, the lawyer said.

He also said that after Buckley was originally charged earlier he had spent a period in jail on remand and that “served as a short, short shock and brought him to his senses”.

“The expression ‘the devil makes work for idle hands’ at times comes to mind,” Mr Hannon said

Buckley has since signed up for an educational course and now hopes to complete the Leaving Certificate, the court heard. The garda confirmed he has kept out trouble.

The judge noted the Probation Service had carried out an assessment and found Buckley was a suitable candidate for a community service sanction.

The judge ordered him to perform 200 hours work in lieu of a ten-month prison sentence.