Wednesday 20 November 2019

George graffiti attack case adjourned pending possible further charge

Eoin Berkeley, pictured after he received bail at the Dublin District Court
Eoin Berkeley, pictured after he received bail at the Dublin District Court

Tom Tuite

A JUDGE has adjourned the case of a man accused of damaging one of Dublin’s best known gay bars with homophobic graffiti pending possible further charges.

Eoin Berkeley, 23, was due to appear again at Dublin District Court on Tuesday having already been charged in May.

He is accused of criminal damage to the facade and panels at the George Bar in the city-centre in the early hours of May 20 last.

Derogatory language and a swastika daubed in chalk had to be removed from the pub’s facade.

Defence solicitor Tony Collier told Judge Michael Walsh his client could not come to court because a member of his family had health issues. There was no garda objection to an adjournment in his absence.

Judge Walsh was told that directions from the Director of Public Prosecution need to be obtained and a court garda sergeant agreed there was a possibility of further charges.

The case was adjourned for a week.

Read More: 'Shocked and truly disheartened' - Ireland's best-known gay club vandalised with homophobic messages and swastikas

At his first hearing on May 22 last Mr Berkeley was warned he risked having his bail revoked if he broke conditions imposed by the court which compel him to stay away from the bar on Dublin’s South Great George’s Street.

The 23-year-old, from Hampton Wood Way, Finglas, Dublin 11, who is on a disability benefit, has not yet indicated how he will plead.

A summary of the prosecution evidence was handed over in court to his solicitor at the first hearing. The court was also told that CCTV evidence would also be disclosed.

There was no objection to bail provided he obeyed six conditions: stay out of the Dublin 2 area, specifically remain away from The George, sign on daily at his local Garda station, reside at his current address, notify gardai of any change of address, and “be sober habits and be of good behaviour”.

Read More: Man accused of gay bar graffiti is granted bail

He had replied “yeah” at the previous hearing when a judge warned that “if there is any breach, bail can be revoked by the court”.

Free legal aid was also granted after the defence explained to the court that Mr Berkeley is in receipt of a €193 a week disability benefit. His access to funds was limited, his solicitor had said.

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