Tuesday 16 January 2018

Egg attack on Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore’s car cost €9 to clean up, court hears

The Tanaiste was attending an event to promote the children's referendum when his car was allegedly attacked by protesters. Photo: Damien Eagers
The Tanaiste was attending an event to promote the children's referendum when his car was allegedly attacked by protesters. Photo: Damien Eagers
Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore

Tom Tuite

A PROTESTER accused of throwing eggs at Tanaiste Eamon Gilmore's ministerial BMW caused no damage but the car had to be cleaned at a cost of €9, a judge was told today.

On October 5 last, the Tanaiste was attending an event to promote the children’s referendum when his car was allegedly attacked by protesters at about 11am at the Blackditch Road, in Ballyfermot, in west Dublin.



Seventy children were in the The Base, a childcare centre, for Unicef's launch of their support for a Yes-vote in the children’s rights referendum.



Mr Gilmore was with Children’s Minister Frances Fitzgerald and had been due to attend but he abandoned the event after the alleged incident.



A demonstration was staged following reports that the Government plans to cut children’s allowance payments in the upcoming Budget.



Later that day, protester Donall O Ceallaigh (28), who lives at Harold's Cross Road, Dublin 6, was charged with criminal damage to a 5-Series BMW property of An Garda Siochana's transport section and breach of the peace.



He had originally been charged under the name Daniel Kelly, and had been remanded on bail with a condition “to stay away from public events where Government ministers are in attendance”.



He appeared again at the same court today. In an outline of the allegations, Judge Victor Blake was told that “eggs were thrown at the car”. The judge was also told that there was no damage caused to the BMW but it had to be washed at a cost of €9.



Judge Blake accepted jurisdiction meaning the case will stay in the District Court and not be sent to the Circuit Court which has wider sentencing powers.



The judge said “an mhaith” when asked by defence solicitor John Bermingham to change the name of the accused on the charge sheets to its Irish version.



Mr O'Ceallaigh was ordered to appear again next week when he is to enter pleas to the charges.



A district court conviction for criminal damage can carry a prison term not exceeding 12 months as well as a fine. The breach of the peace offence can result in a fine and or a sentence of up to three months in jail.

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