Monday 22 January 2018

Anglo Avenger charged over Dail crane stunt

Joe McNamara on board a cherry picker crane outside Leinster House. Photo: PA
Joe McNamara on board a cherry picker crane outside Leinster House. Photo: PA
Gardai stand next to the cherry picker covered with slogans attacking politicians and the banking sector. Photo: PA

A disgruntled builder, dubbed the Anglo Avenger, was today charged after being accused of a second stunt outside Leinster House.

Joe McNamara parked a cherry picker crane at the Dail gates and blasted out hit pop single Poker Face by Lady Gaga and the theme tune from spaghetti western The Good, The Bad And The Ugly.

The 41-year-old drove the vehicle, covered with a number of slogans attacking politicians and bankers, up Dublin`s Kildare Street as the Government prepared for Budget day.

Mr McNamara, wearing a builder's hard hat and a yellow fluorescent coat, raised himself to a height in the cage and stayed there for more than an hour playing loud music.

The control panel was sealed off, preventing gardai from bringing the protester back to the ground.

Mr McNamara, from Dun na Carraige, Blackrock, Co Galway, lowered the crane arm at around 8.45am and was arrested by half a dozen officers, who bundled him into the back of a garda van.

He appeared later at Dublin District Court charged with dangerous driving. He was bailed to appear before Dublin District Court on December 14.

The move is one of a string of protests by people angry at the Government's handling of the economic crisis.

It is the second stunt at the Dail that McNamara has been accused of. In late September he was charged with criminal damage after a cement lorry emblazoned with "Toxic Anglo" was used to block the entrance to Leinster House in protest at his treatment by the banks. McNamara was released on bail.

In a statement, the Houses of the Oireachtas said the latest protest would not disrupt the day's crucial Dail business.

"There is no disruption to pedestrian or vehicle access to Leinster House and proceedings will continue as normal throughout the day," it read.

Authorities were preparing for a day of demonstrations, with left-wing groups, students and community organisations all planning to picket the area.

Security was tight, with crash barriers and crowd control plans in place at Leinster House and also Government Buildings.

Press Association

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