Sunday 18 February 2018

Man due to appear in court charged in connection with Leinster House incident involving 'sword and three knives'

Junior Minister Sean Sherlock
Junior Minister Sean Sherlock
Leinster House

Emma Jane Hade and Niall O'Connor

A 19-year-old man is due to appear in court charged in connection with an incident in Leinster House yesterday

A man armed with a sword attempted to enter Leinster House yesterday evening.

Gardai in Pearse St investigating an incident  have charged the man and he will appear before the Criminal Courts of Justice at 10.30am today.

A garda received minor injuries in the efforts to arrest the man.

Gardai in Pearse Street arrested the man on suspicion of possession of Offensive weapon.

Junior Minister Sean Sherlock has described his shock after he witnessed a man armed with a sword attempt to enter Leinster House earlier this evening.

The Labour representative explained that the incident outside the main revolving doors of the building felt “surreal”.

“What I witnessed was him brandishing the sword above his head, and I didn’t see any other weapons on the gentleman in question, but the gardai had him by the time he got to the door so it was all over in a matter of seconds,” he said on the Six One news.

“He was brandishing the sword, ran past me, and he wasn’t screaming or shouting.  He appeared to be quite calm throughout it. 

“That’s what made it surreal, because I just happened to turn around and I saw this gentleman baring towards the doors.

“But in fairness to the gardai, they were there and on the ball.  The staff here at Leinster House were on the ball.  They had the building locked down in due time I would say.

“While it was a breach at the front gates, I would argue that it is a one in a million incident.”

He described the sword as being like “something that you would see out of a movie”. 

“A typical rapier if you will, a side arm that would be carried by perhaps a soldier, built into the waist like something you would take out of a scabbard,” he added.

The man was taken to Pearse Street garda station after he attempted to enter the main gate at around 4.35pm.

Leinster House was generally quiet as TDs and senators are not due to return after their Easter Break until tomorrow.

A source told that the male was apprehended by officers based at the entrance of Leinster House after he ran through the main vehicle gate.

Sources at Leinster House said they became suspicious of an individual lurking outside, partly because of his unusual footwear.

He was apprehended at the scene.

It is understood he was carrying one weapon, while others were in his shoes.

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