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Rioter escapes jail over queen visit protests

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SENTENCED: Michael Tyrell admitted violent disorder for his conduct during the Queen's visit to Dublin in 2011. Photo: Collins Courts

SENTENCED: Michael Tyrell admitted violent disorder for his conduct during the Queen's visit to Dublin in 2011. Photo: Collins Courts

SENTENCED: Michael Tyrell admitted violent disorder for his conduct during the Queen's visit to Dublin in 2011. Photo: Collins Courts

A DUBLIN man who was part of a riot during Queen Elizabeth's visit to Ireland in 2011 has avoided jail.

Michael Tyrell (23), of Dorset Street Lower, was among a group of protesters that turned violent towards gardai while Queen Elizabeth and Prince Philip were visiting the Garden of Remembrance in Parnell Square.

The court heard that missiles, including fireworks, general debris and bottles were thrown at gardai, and a wheelie bin that had been set alight was pushed against the line of shielded riot officers.

VIOLENT

Tyrell pleaded guilty at Dublin Circuit Criminal Court to violent disorder on Dorset Street Upper on May 17, 2011.

Judge Mary Ellen Ring sentenced him to two and a half years in prison, but suspended it fully on condition that he keep the peace for that period.

Tyrell has 34 previous convictions for public order, theft, criminal damage, road traffic offences and possession of a knife.

His co-accused, Mark Griffin (26), is due to be sentenced on June 3. Griffin, of North Strand Road, pleaded guilty to violent disorder on the same occasion. The court heard it was he who pushed the blazing wheelie bin into riot officers.

Griffin also pleaded guilty to three charges of possession of drugs for sale or supply at his home on October 18, 2011, and conveying heroin into Wheatfield Prison on February 17, 2011. Griffin has 71 previous convictions. Judge Ring remanded Griffin on bail on these offences, and ordered a urine analysis report to confirm his claim that he is now drug free.

The court heard he is currently in custody in Mountjoy Prison, serving a reactivated six-month sentence for drugs offences from 2012. He is due for release this August.

Garda Tara Dolan told Grainne O'Neill BL, prosecuting, that on the day of the visit a group of about 100 to 150 people had gathered initially at the Spire, O'Connell Street. Some of the crowd became disorderly and moved onto Moore Street.

MISSILES

About 90 minutes later, three riot vans were called to move a group that had gathered at the junction of Dorset Street, Blessington Street and North Frederick Street after people started to throw missiles at the gardai.

Gardai warned people that if they didn't move they would be arrested. People remained and continued to throw missiles and punch and kick at the riot officers' shields. Local gardai were called in to assist and Griffin was spotted throwing rocks and glass bottles. He was also seen pushing the litter bin.

Griffin was arrested and admitted taking part in the riot "because everyone else was". He said that he had also thrown a bike at one of the vans.

Tyrell initially claimed he had been at home, but later accepted he had been involved and had thrown a pole at a garda van. He said he had thrown rocks and stones.

Gda Dolan agreed with Dean Kelly BL, defending Griffin, that his client was not a part of a republican group and had been binge drinking the night before.

She agreed that Griffin regularly came to garda attention but has since "quietened down".

Gda Dolan agreed with Marc Thompson Grolimund BL, defending Tyrell, that others were masterminding the riot. Tyrell had never been involved in a political-type protest before.

She said cars and front doors were damaged, and a number of gardai received minor injuries, but there were no charges brought other than the violent disorder charge.

Judge Ring noted that Tyrell was at "moderate risk" of re-offending and had an alcohol problem. She ordered that he comply with all treatment courses as recommended by the probation and welfare services.

HNEWS@HERALD.IE


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