Two students charged over hacking attack on FG website
TWO college students arrested on suspicion of computer hacking have been charged with criminal damage to the Fine Gael party website.
Darren Martyn (21), of Cloonbeggin, Claregalway, Galway; and Donncha O Cearrbhail (20), of The Ring, Birr, Co Offaly, appeared at Dublin District Court.
Mr Martyn is a biopharmaceutical chemistry student at NUI Galway, while Mr O Cearrbhail – whose father is Offaly Independent councillor John Carroll – is studying at Trinity College, Dublin.
They have been charged with criminal damage to the Fine Gael website on January 9, 2011, at Claregalway, in the allegation against Mr Martyn, and at Birr, in the case of Mr O Cearrbhail.
Both the accused were arrested by appointment at the Bridewell garda station in Dublin by fraud squad detectives yesterday morning and the charges were then put to them.
They were then brought to appear before Judge Patricia McNamara at Dublin District Court, charged under the Criminal Damage Act.
Detective Paul Johnstone told the court that the two students "made no reply" when charged.
There was no objection to bail or legal aid.
The court was told the DPP has decided that the pair should be dealt with by "summary disposal" at district court level if they plead guilty.
If they contest the charges they will face a jury trial in the Circuit Criminal Court, which can impose tougher sentences.
Both men were remanded on bail to appear again before the court in July when they will be expected to indicate how they intend to plead.