Docks worker faces trial over 'floating picket'

Andrew Phelan

A 63-year-old docks worker has been sent for trial to Dublin Circuit Criminal Court on charges following a "floating picket" that was staged in the city's port.

Gerard McDonnell is charged under shipping and harbour safety regulations following the demo in 2009.

McDonnell was returned for trial after he had a book of evidence served on him in Dublin District Court on Friday.

The accused had been arrested and charged over a protest involving boats in the harbour on August 27, 2009.

A large group of his supporters staged a protest on the steps on the Criminal Courts of Justice as his case was being dealt with.

McDonnell, with an address of Pembroke Cottages, Ringsend, Dublin 4, is charged with two offences under the Harbours Act. He is accused of obstructing and impeding the exercise of power of the harbourmaster of Dublin Port at the fairway entrance to the port.

He is also charged with preventing the Stena Line Nordica navigating in the port.

A third charge under the Maritime Safety Act alleged that he allowed a vessel, The Orkney Fastliner 19 to impede and interfere with other vessels.

State Solicitor Declan Keating told Judge Bryan Smyth that a book of evidence was ready on all three charges. There was no objection to the accused going forward on existing bail terms.

Judge Smyth gave the defendant the formal alibi warning before sending him for trial to the next sittings of the Circuit Court.