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Teenager is cleared over royal visit riots

A TEENAGER arrested during the Dublin city centre riots over the queen's visit has been found not guilty of public order offences.

Anthony Russell (18) was arrested by riot squad officers as missiles rained on them during a confrontation with a violent crowd in the north inner city while the royal visit was under way.

However, he had the case against him dismissed when a judge ruled there was no evidence that he was engaged in a breach of the peace or that he had failed to obey gardai.

Russell, with an address at Brian Road, Marino, had pleaded not guilty to the two offences.

The prosecuting garda told the court he was on duty with the mobile response unit at 3pm on May 17 when he was directed to attend a public order incident at the junction of Dorset Street and Frederick Street.

He was informed that there was a riot in progress and the gardai were to try to avoid this spreading.

"During the course of this, we were constantly being subjected to missiles being thrown at us -- glass bottles, fireworks and bricks," the garda said.

"The severity of the incident escalated and the public order unit was despatched."

As the protesters were forced back, they continued throwing missiles at the gardai. Russell was restrained, arrested and placed in the back of a prison van on Blessington Street.



Argued

Defence barrister Emmet Nolan argued there was no evidence that the accused had engaged in any threatening, abusive or insulting behaviour that could have caused a breach of the peace. He also argued that there was no evidence Russell was given a direction to leave the area.

Judge Patricia McNamara dismissed both charges against the defendant.

aphelan@herald.ie


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